New England Patriots

The Patriots came out of nowhere with a trade on Sunday, acquiring wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson from the Oakland Raiders. Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take first reported news of the trade via Twitter, followed by multiple confirmations.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network later reported that the Patriots also acquired the Raiders’ sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft, sending a fifth-round pick in return. The traded selection (159th overall) is the one the Pats just acquired from the Browns in a deal for defensive tackle Danny Shelton.

So in effect, the Patriots moved down from No. 159 to one of the Raiders’ spots in the sixth round, No. 185 or No. 192. The Raiders were likely on the verge of cutting Patterson, which would’ve left them with zero dead money against the cap. The veteran returner/receiver is due a $3 million base salary in 2018.

Patterson, 27, has never emerged as a consistent threat in the passing game. But over the course of his career, he has been perhaps the NFL’s most dangerous kick returner. He’s led the league in return touchdowns and yards per return three times, and return yards twice. In total, he’s returned 153 kicks for 4,613 yards (a 30.2-yard average) and five touchdowns in five seasons – so you can reasonably expect him to take one to the house at some point in 2018.

Where Does He Fit?

Cordarrelle Patterson (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Cordarrelle Patterson of the Oakland Raiders scores on a 43-yard touchdown run against the New York Jets at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sept. 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

He will be the clear replacement for Dion Lewis as the kick returner, and that may be it. Patterson won’t return punts; he’s done that just once in his career. So the Patriots still need to fill that spot if it’s not for Julian Edelman.

Patterson was originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2013 draft. The Patriots notably traded out of the 29th overall pick to send it to the Vikes, getting four picks in return. They eventually used three on linebacker Jamie Collins, cornerback Logan Ryan, and wideout Josh Boyce. The fourth pick acquired (No. 229) went to the Buccaneers in a package for LeGarrette Blount during the draft.

Now, Patterson arrives with the team that used his draft value to add talent at other spots. Patterson turned out to be overvalued by the Vikings – unless the Patriots can get him to finally work consistently as a pass-catcher. But that’s not likely. Patterson will be mostly just the kick returner, but should be a very good one at that.

Josh McDaniels will certainly find ways to use him out of the backfield as well; Patterson has averaged 10.3 yards per “rush” on end-arounds, reverses, and similar plays in his career.

Patterson joins Shelton, cornerback Jason McCourty, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, running back Jeremy Hill, and tackle Matt Tobin as new faces joining the Patriots in 2018 via free agency or trades.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at