Blessed with sensational size and scintillating speed, Raiders WR Cordarrelle Patterson can keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night and on their toes gameday.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Tennessee product can run around and through defenders, as evidenced on a 43-yard and 47-yard runs he housed against the Jets and Chargers, respectively. Moreover, every time he takes a kickoff out of the end zone, the opposing team has sweaty foreheads and palms.
Yet, for the electricity Patterson brings to the table, the 26-year-old former first-round pick has been sparingly flashy. Like the lone impressive lightning bolt that streaks out of the sky, the moments are fleeting. Case in point: 309 yards on 31 receptions for zero scores and 121 yards on 13 carries for two. He had an additional 538 yards in kickoff returns but did not hit paydirt once. He is a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none — the definition of a gadget player in the NFL.
Slated to earn $3.25 million if the Raiders pick up their club option, that is a lot of coin for someone who, in five seasons of work in the league, has shown nothing more than being a gadget, no?
In a Todd Downing orchestrated offense, $3.25 million is a drop in the bucket for the flash CP provides. Desperate times calls for desperate measures. Despite having TD has his initials; Downing’s offense avoided them like the plague.
Coaching, undoubtedly matters.
Will new head coach Jon Gruden and Reggie McKenzie) see Patterson as a fit on the Raiders roster with that kind of salary?
In addition, if Seth Roberts (slated to earn a whopping $4.45 million) can maintain his roster spot surely Patterson — who generated 968 all-purpose yards compared to Roberts’ 455 total — can hang.
The allure of what CP could do under Gruden’s watch is certainly tantalizing. A more complex scheme may put Patterson in more advantageous positions and create further migraines for the opposing DC. That alone may be worth the $3.25 million price of admission for one year under Gruden’s play calling.
In essence, do not be surprised if Patterson does not produce anything else than he’s put forth thus far (his best season was his rookie year — 469 yards receiving with 4 TDs, 158 rushing with 3 scores and 1393 yards returning with 2 more end zone trips). The CP elevator has likely reached the top floor.