A recap and review of the 2017 season of Oakland Raiders wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
The Oakland Raiders signed free agent wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson last offseason to be the swiss-army knife of their offense. However, as the woes of the team continued to increase last year, that knife went dull and Patterson’s role with the team decreased.
After four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Patterson came into Oakland as an unproven receiver that had the tools to succeed but had underwhelmed thus far. However, he was considered one of the league’s most dangerous kick returners.
Through his first four seasons, Patterson averaged 30.4 yards per kick return and had 5 kick return touchdowns for the Vikings. Offensively, he tallied 163 receptions, 7 receiving touchdowns and 4 rushing touchdowns but was viewed as a bust by many because he never developed into the receiver Minnesota thought he would be.
After the 2016 season, Patterson seemed like an ideal fit in Oakland. The Raiders had one of the league’s highest scoring offenses and two very talented wide receivers, so there was little expectation for Patterson to put up big numbers. Plus with Derek Carr throwing him the ball, there was optimism that Cordarrelle would be able to develop into the receiver many hoped he would become in Minnesota.
Of course, Raider Nation had to be excited about the signing because they had not seen a kickoff returned for a touchdown since 2011 (Jacoby Ford), so Patterson would be the first dangerous returner the team had on the roster in quite some time.
It was a slow start to the season for Cordarrelle, but despite the fact that he was only targeted four times in the first three games as a receiver, he still looked like he was going to have a significant impact for the Raiders.
Against the New York Jets in Week 2, Patterson rushed the ball 3 times for 57 yards, including an impressive 43-yard touchdown run late in the 3rd quarter.
Bad play from the Jets overall but great showing from Adams (edge top of screen) attempting to chase down Patterson from behind. pic.twitter.com/RxnOaQ1RfE
— Joe Blewett (@Joerb31) January 26, 2018
In Week 4 versus the Denver Broncos, Oakland was without Michael Crabtree due to injury and Patterson proved he was capable of filling in, catching all six of his targets for 33 yards.
The next five games, however, Patterson was of little impact to the Raiders offense or special teams.
Against the Ravens, Patterson only touched the ball once all game on a kickoff return. But in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers, he made some noise with a 47-yard touchdown run on jet sweep and had 1 reception for a mere 5 yards.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 15, 2017
In the Thursday night matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, Patterson was nowhere to be found once again. He had only 1 reception for 9 yards to go along with one kickoff return.
Against the Buffalo Bills, Cordarrelle had 3 receptions but for only 7 yards. And against the Miami Dolphins, he only touched the ball twice on two kickoff returns.
At the halfway point of the season, Patterson had a total of 14 receptions for 69 yards, 124 rush yards, 2 rushing touchdowns and was averaging 30.8 yards per kickoff return with no touchdowns. Not the type of numbers you are hoping from the utility player.
From a receiver stand point, the next three games trended upward for him as the Raiders were ailing with some injuries at the position and it had looked like he and Carr and finally developed some chemistry.
Against the New England Patriots, Patterson caught 4 passes for 45 yards, and against the Broncos, Patterson hauled in 3 receptions for 72 yards. His best game yet came the next week against the New York Giants, in which he hauled in 4 receptions for a season-high 97 yards.
Nothing stellar, but there was hope that he was starting to find his groove and would be able to keep the momentum going. But he would only go on to catch 3 passes for 8 yards against the Chiefs, and then 1 reception in each game against the Cowboys, Eagles and Chargers to end the season.
In total for the second half of the season, Patterson had 6 kickoff returns — 4 against the Cowboys — and only had 3 rushing attempts.
Patterson finished the 2017 season with 31 receptions for 309 receiving yards, 121 rushing yards with 2 rushing touchdowns and 19 kickoff returns for an average of 28.3 yards per return.
To say Patterson fell short of his expectations last season is an understatement, but some of the blame can be put on first year offensive coordinator Todd Downing who struggled to get any consistency from the offensive unit.
Now the Oakland front office has a decision to make on Patterson, who has a club option for 2018. If they chose to accept, the Raiders would owe him $3.2 million. But if they decline, their would be $0 dead money against the salary cap.
Patterson will be 27 next season and still has plenty of explosiveness left in him. But it will be up to Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden on whether or not Patterson has a future with the Raiders.