Do-It-All Playmaker Suggested as Chiefs Offensive Spark in Free Agency

Cordarrelle Patterson

Getty Atlanta Falcons Swiss army knife Cordarrelle Patterson (#84) could be an option for the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.

A recent report from Tony Pauline claimed that Patrick Mahomes “voiced his desire for the team to sign a veteran free agent receiver rather than acquire one through the draft.”

That got the wheels spinning on some potential targets but one intriguing name was left off the list at the time. Quite frankly, it’s no surprise since this versatile triple-threat has been overlooked for most of his career.

We are referring to the special teamer/wide receiver turned running back that retook the NFL by storm in 2021, Atlanta Falcons playmaker Cordarrelle Patterson. Yesterday on March 4, he was suggested as an outside-of-the-box signing for the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Patterson Kills Multiple Birds With 1 Stone

Need a power running back that can also catch the football? How about one of the best kick returners in the game? You get all that and more if you sign Patterson, and ESPN’s Mike Tanier of “Football Outsiders” presented this intriguing thought.

While discussing the Chiefs’ “bold outside-the-box offseason move,” which Tanier deemed as adding one more big-name playmaker, he mentioned the Falcons’ Swiss army knife. The analyst wrote:

All the salary-cap sorcery in the world won’t help the Chiefs compete for free-agent receiver Chris Godwin or jostle Davante Adams away from the Packers. But JuJu Smith-Schuster could be lured away from a Steelers team that’s not that into him with the promise of incentives and potential rings. A.J. Green would still look great against No. 2 cornerbacks in single coverage. And Cordarrelle Patterson is a free agent yet again: Imagine what he could do as a rusher/receiver/returner against opponents that cannot afford to focus on him.

No offense to Smith-Schuster and Green but we’re going to focus on that last tidbit in this article.

It’s a great point from Tanier. In Atlanta last year, Patterson was ‘the guy’ outside of maybe Kyle Pitts. Calvin Ridley sat for most of the campaign and Julio Jones was sent to Tennessee over the offseason, so it was the Cordarrelle show for Arthur Smith’s new ground-and-pound offense.

Remember, Smith came from the Titans so if you think about it, Patterson basically played the Derrick Henry role for the Falcons — plus he lined up outside at wide receiver from time to time — and did an admirable job with over 1,100 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns (both career highs).

On the Chiefs, Patterson would be the third or fourth offensive option behind Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Theoretically, he could easily eclipse ‘CEH’ for that lead-back role like he did Mike Davis in Atlanta if all went well.

Patterson is turning 31 in March but he’s a late bloomer with much less tread on the tires than a typical running back. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he appears to finally have found his calling as a bruiser that can open up the passing game.

Spotrac currently projects him to earn a two-year, $18.284 million contract in 2022 — $9.1 million per year. Considering all the hats he wears on the field, you could do a lot worse than Patterson for that price tag.

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If Not Patterson, Then Who?

Let’s say Patterson gets franchise-tagged or decides to re-sign with Smith in a feature role, the Chiefs still need one more playmaker in 2022. I’m sorry, but Mecole Hardman, Byron Pringle and Josh Gordon aren’t cutting it when it counts.

Tanier illustrated this well, stating: “No opponent can stop both Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. But some opponents can slow them down by blitzing Patrick Mahomes into distraction. Others can keep their safeties deep and/or drop eight defenders into coverage and dare the Chiefs to beat them with their running game and guys like Blake Bell and Byron Pringle. Still, others can do a little of both, then score enough points to turn Chiefs games into 42-36 shootouts that come down to a coin flip.”

He continued: “Conventional wisdom dictates that the Chiefs need to draft an edge rusher or cornerback to keep their defense from collapsing. But the Chiefs don’t do conventional things. They’ve been seeking that one extra playmaker to push their offense past the tipping point for years: Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Josh Gordon, etc. This season, it’s time to go all-in, Rams style.”

Signing Patterson, Smith-Schuster or Green wouldn’t even be considered “going all-in,” but it would help. Or maybe it’s a lesser signing in the slot like a Jamison Crowder or a trade for Jarvis Landry.

You could even disregard Mahomes’ wishes and draft your third weapon considering how deep this wide receiver class is. Whatever KC decides, it’s time to finally open this offense back up again — think Kelce, Hill, Kareem Hunt and Sammy Watkins in 2018.


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