As suggested by The 33rd Team’s Jeff Diamond, one notable player who could be traded prior to the start of the 2023 season is none other than Patterson. The four-time Pro Bowler’s value with the Falcons is likely on the decline following the first-round selection of running back Bijan Robinson. With Robinson projected as the starting running back, that could leave little room for the 32-year-old veteran.
Diamond notes that not only could Patterson bolster the Seahawks’ running game, he could also contribute in the return game. Seattle’s current kickoff and punt returner is DeeJay Dallas.
“The Seattle Seahawks could bolster the run game and kickoff returns as they try to unseat the 49ers atop the NFC West,” Diamond said of Patterson.
As Diamond also mentions, Patterson could be acquired for a late-round draft pick.
“With so few kickoffs returned due to excessive touchbacks, Patterson is a luxury the Falcons could move on from and try to garner a late-round pick in return,” writes Diamond. “His $4.25 million base salary could make a trade more difficult. Perhaps, Patterson would renegotiate to go to a team that presents a better opportunity for playing time rather than face a release on the final cut.”
Cordarrelle Patterson Is Arguably NFL’s Best Kickoff Returner Ever
While Dallas is a respectable returner — he ranked fifth in kick return yards and 10th in yards per kick return during the 2021 season — he doesn’t come close to matching Patterson. Patterson is arguably the greatest kickoff returner ever, having returned a league record nine kickoffs for touchdowns, with six of those being longer than 100 yards. The 10-year veteran also tied the record for longest play and set the record for longest kickoff return (109 yards) back in 2013.
Patterson has seen a reduced role as a kick returner with the Falcons over the past two seasons due to his increased role on offense compared to prior seasons. However, Patterson led the league in kick return yards during back-to-back seasons in 2019 and 2020 with the Chicago Bears. He’s also posted at least one kickoff return touchdown in six different seasons. In fact, he averaged 31.6 yards per kickoff return last season. Had he posted enough returns, he would have led the league for the fourth time.
Outside of his clear excellence in the kick return game, Patterson is one of the most versatile threats in the league. He posted a career-high 695 receiving yards and eight touchdowns last season. During the previous season, Patterson posted a career-high 548 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Due to his low amount of usage on offense during the first eight seasons of his career — he averaged just 27 receptions and 21 rushing attempts per year — Patterson isn’t slowing down despite his advanced age.
Why Seahawks Would Benefit From Cordarrelle Patterson Trade
The Seahawks are actually currently dealing with a couple of key injuries to their top two running backs, Kenneth Walker and Zach Charbonnet, as noted by Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
“Coach Pete Carroll told reporters Sunday that starter Kenneth Walker III is considered week-to-week due to a groin injury,” writes Patra. “Meanwhile, second-round rookie Zach Charbonnet missed his second consecutive practice due to shoulder discomfort.”
It’s worth noting that head coach Pete Carroll is being cautious when it comes to bringing Walker back into the lineup. The second-year back ended last season as the Seahawks’ starting running back after rushing for 1,050 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie.
“Yeah, because it’s a groin, we’ve got to make sure,” Carroll said. “He doesn’t feel bad. It’s not a terrible injury or anything like that. We just don’t want to aggravate it now and make it something that lingers through camp.”
If the Seahawks can acquire Patterson for a late-round draft pick, the former Super Bowl champion could play a key role in helping Seattle make the leap from playoff team to a potential Super Bowl contender.