The New England Patriots were active on the trade market this offseason: While the team sent away wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a pair of draft picks, it also made transactions to acquire defensive tackle Danny Shelton, cornerback Jason McCourty and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. The latter of the trio joined NFL Network's Good Morning Football yesterday to talk about, among other topics, his new team.
“It was awesome,” Patterson said about receiving the call that he would get traded from the Oakland Raiders to New England. “I got a call from my agent, and he was like, 'You’re getting traded to the Patriots.' I was like, 'Stop lying.' He was like, 'No, I’m serious,' so I was like, 'OK, let’s go'. Iwas excited. They make it to the Super Bowl almost every single year [...]. It was an exciting feeling for me.”
New England got Patterson for a drop of 51 spots in this year's draft: The team opted to send its fifth-round selection to the Raiders to receive Patterson as well as a sixth-round pick. It is a potential high-upside move for New England considering the athletic skill-set the 2013 first-round pick possesses and his past productivity as both a pass catcher and kickoff returnman (Patterson was named first-team All-Pro twice for his special teams play).
Despite all that, however, he failed so far in his career to live up to his draft position. While Patterson was a productive returnman for both the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders and is coming to Foxboro with an average of 30.2 yards per kick return as well as five career touchdowns, his contributions on offense were solid but not as impressive: As a receiver and runner, he touched the football 207 times, gaining 2,079 yards and scoring 13 times.
In New England, Patterson will try to finally break through as an offensive weapon as well – and it sure sounds like the Patriots are confident that they will be able to help him do that. “He was just telling me, 'I don’t know what you’ve been through in the past, but we get the job done here',” Patterson said that head coach Bill Belichick told him during their first encounter. “'We’re going to make you the player that you should be.'”
The 27-year old will be in as good a position as any to see this happen. After all, he has not played in an offense with the same potential as the Patriots' over his first five years in the league: Not only does the team field the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady, it also is in the middle of turning over its wide receiver position after the departures of Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola.
Patterson will therefore get his fair share of chances to make an impression and carve out a role on the team. “I just basically told [offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels], 'Just put me on the field. It’ll take care of itself,'” he said during his appearance on Good Morning Football. “That’s something I’ve been doing my whole life – making plays, playmaker.”
Patterson certainly brings home-run ability to the table: Besides his five kickoff return scores, he also had seven offensive touchdowns from 30+ yards out. Whether the Patriots will use him as a deep threat receiver or misdirection runner remains to be seen but Patterson knows what he will have to do to make his stint in New England a successful one: “I just go out there and do what I’m supposed to do and have fun while I’m doing it.”