After spending the first four years of his career in the NFC North, it appears that Cordarrelle Patterson is now headed back to the division.
According to ESPN.com, the former Patriots receiver has agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Bears that will pay him a total of $10 million. Patterson is headed for Chicago after spending just one year in New England.
During the Patriots’ Super Bowl winning season, Patterson basically served as a Swiss Army knife for coach Bill Belichick. Not only did he play receiver, but the Patriots also regularly lined him as a running back. As a matter of fact, Patterson’s rushing numbers in 2018 (42 carries, 228 yards, one touchdown) were almost as good as his receiving numbers (21 receptions, 247 yards, three touchdowns).
Of course, the biggest reason the Bears signed him might be for his kick return skills. During the 2018 season, Patterson averaged 28.8 yards per return, which ranked third overall in the NFL. That number will be a huge boost for a Bears special teams unit that ranked dead last in the NFL with an average of just 19.1 yards per return in 2018.
The Bears actually got a first-hand taste last season of what Patterson is capable of doing in the return game. During a Week 7 game between the Patriots and Bears, Patterson returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown during the second quarter of New England’s 38-31 win.
Including that score, Patterson has a total of 23 touchdowns in his career, with six coming by return, seven coming on the ground and 10 coming through the air. Patterson’s versatility will likely make him a perfect fit for Matt Nagy’s offense in Chicago, which means you shouldn’t be surprised if you see Patterson catching passes, lining up in the backfield and returning kicks for the Bears in 2019.
The Bears will be the fourth team that Patterson has played for over the past four seasons. Before agreeing to terms with Chicago, Patterson spent one season with both the Patriots and Raiders (2017). Prior to that, Patterson spent four seasons with the Vikings after they made him a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.