The wave of Vikings free agency defections continued Monday night with news that Cordarrelle Patterson will sign with the Oakland Raiders. San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Vic Tafur first broke the news on Twitter.

The Raiders official account confirmed the news shortly thereafter.

For the Vikings, letting Patterson walk in free agency was a move that once seemed like a sure thing, but recently, the prospect has become more complicated. The team didn’t pick up his fifth year option after a dismal 2015 in which he recorded only two receptions. But Patterson rebounded last season, notching 52 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns. He also became a punt team weapon, accepting the role of gunner and becoming one of the best in the league at covering punts.

Patterson’s true value, of course, has always been as a kick returner. He is a two-time All-Pro at the position, and holds the highest kick return average (30.4 yards) of any active player. His departure leaves a big question mark on who will return kicks for the Vikings in 2017.

For the Raiders, they get an extremely talented, if enigmatic, offensive player that can be used in a number of ways, in addition to his kick return duties. Patterson has been criticized in the past for having a “me-first” attitude and didn’t always get along with Vikings coaches, but expressed his interest in returning to Minnesota on Snapchat in the past few days. If Oakland can find a way to keep him engaged and get the ball in his hands more regularly than the Vikings did, they will have a very dangerous weapon.

For the Vikings, this creates an immediate need at kick returner, while also likely signaling Jarius Wright’s return in 2017. It will create more opportunities on offense for second-year man Laquon Treadwell, as well.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Dang, dang, dang.. I was really hoping they could bring back CP. He showed a bit of “will do coach” with his play as a gunner. He picked it up as a WR, brings so much danger when returning, and can provide a dangerous weapon running the ball. Good luck to you Cordarelle, I will miss you.

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    • I really liked the season he had here in ’16, too, but let’s keep in mind that “will do” attitude happened in a contract year. Maybe that wasn’t the reason for it, but it was the first time in his career he decided to put the team first, and I’d be wary of how he’ll act after getting paid.

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      • Certainly can’t deny that they may have been his motivation. He most definitely was not the most coachable in his 3 years. The time he blew off Zim’s attempt to work with a WR trainer during the off season, just to work with some holistic nonsense.. hard to forget that ruinous decision. We will see if he returns to his diva/I know what I need to know mentality. Perhaps the Vikings will have a return man that speaks with a german accent next year. No doubt we will see if Tread warranted a 1st round pick.

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    • As a honest-to-God, full route tree wide receiver? I honestly wouldn’t bet on it. Frankly, I doubt he’ll ever even be as effective a receiver as Percy Harvin was.

      I’m honestly pretty happy about this. I don’t think Patterson will ever be much of a factor on offense, and this will remove one relatively expensive obstacle from our seeing exactly what Treadwell can or can’t do. If Treadwell continues to tread water (pun obviously and shamelessly intended), Wright should be able to fill the gap at least adequately this year, even if he is not the ideal complement to Diggs and Thielen. I’d love to see what MoBo can do as a kickoff returner, but Spielman should probably bring in some competition for the job via both free agency and the draft.

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  2. Rick doesn’t have to admit to anything. NFL is a business, it is ran as such at Winter Park. Some fans still think it’s Fantasy Football.

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  3. CP was 2nd in the entire NFL in total yards as a rookie. Even after we forgot how to use him (Norv!) Flash still made big plays as an return man. This Vikings team is not good enough to blow people out, we must win the close ones. In 2015 we did, in 2016 we did not. Patterson made big plays that won several close games. He will be missed. To summarize: We just got worse.

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