If there’s one thing we know about New York Giants head coach Joe Judge, it’s that he sure loves himself some special teams. Prior to taking his current gig in East Rutherford last season, Judge made a name for himself as a special teams aficionado for a near-decade with the New England Patriots.
So it’s only right that when one of the all-time contributors on that side of the football becomes available, Judge and the Giants would — at the very least — entertain the prospect of a signing.
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Giants Rumored to Be ‘In’ on Ex-Bear Cordarrelle Patterson
According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (and since backed by New York Post’s Paul Schwartz), the Giants could potentially look to bring in former Bears all-purpose playmaker Cordarrelle Patterson to help boost the team’s return game.
“Player to keep an eye on is RB/WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson,” Raanan tweeted. “The Giants seem to be in that returner + offensive weapon market. Good player. Great returner.”
The Giants’ rumored interest in Patterson shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Judge coached the former first-round pick during Patterson’s one-year stint in Foxborough back in 2018 — a stint Judge was evidently very fond of.
“Patterson is one of the best to ever play the game as a kick returner,’’ Judge said of Patterson prior to last year’s Week 2 matchup against the Bears. “Simply put, this guy is someone that you’ll read about in history books. When you play against this guy, everybody on the field better be aware of where he’s at, whether that’s offense or on special teams.’’
Patterson is an All-Time Great Return Specialist
Patterson entered the league with sky-high expectations as a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings back in 2013. Donning the No. 84 jersey — which was made famous by franchise legend Randy Moss, Patterson was expected to solidify himself as a clear-cut go-to option in the passing game. While he never quite lived up to expectations as a wide receiver, he’s still managed to carve out quite the luxurious NFL career — some might even dare say Hall of Fame worthy.
Patterson, 30, has earned first-team All-Pro honors on four occasions, second-team honors twice and been named to four Pro Bowls over his eight years in the league. His eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns tie him with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington for most in NFL history. Over his 239 career kick returns, Patterson averages an absurd 29.8 yards per return. The only player to average more yards per return in league history? Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (30.6).
Headed by Dion Lewis — a free agent who is not expected to be brought back — the Giants averaged 21.89 ypr in 2020, 16th-best in the NFL. Their 49.2 kick return ypg was actually quite solid, checking in as the ninth-most in football. However, the Bears, led by Patterson obliterated that number, averaging a league-best 71.6 ypg.
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