Earlier this week, right around the time we heard about the Vikings trading Gerald Hodges for C Nick Easton and a sixth round draft pick, we heard another interesting nugget about a high profile player.
Apparently, the Vikings are 'soliciting interest' for WR Cordarrelle Patterson, and are open to trading him. If that's the case, it would be a stunning fall from grace for the former first round pick, one that would have been impossible to believe just one year ago.
It's tough to gage what the Vikings would get in return in a trade , but I highly doubt it would be anything close to what they got for Percy Harvin a few years back. I would think a first round pick in return is a pipe dream; if you put a gun to my head I'm thinking like a 4th and a 5th round pick, or one later round pick and one player, much like we saw for the Hodges trade.
But to make a trade, you need a dance partner. Who seems likely to be suitors for Patterson? Let's take a look while keeping in mind this is just conjecture on my part. I have no inside information. Nor do I have the dreaded 'source' or 'sources'.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders look to have a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, an emerging superstar in Amari Cooper on one side, a rejuvenated Michael Crabtree on the other, and Bill Musgrave as their offensive coordinator. And it was Musgrave who was able to use Patterson and play him to his strengths in 2013. Patterson's best year was his rookie year, which was Musgrave's last season with the Vikings. Patterson would add another dimension to the Raiders suddenly potent offense. Just based on the history between Musgrave and Patterson, this seems like the most logical place for me right now.
Carolina Panthers: They're 4-0 and are tied for the lead in the NFC South, but sooner or later not having an outside threat for Cam Newton is going to catch up with them. Patterson could provide that threat the Panthers need to boost the offense and keep pace with the Atlanta Falcons.
Seattle Seahawks: The Vikings and Seahawks have a pretty good trade history (but not so much on free agents signings), and Russell Wilson still doesn't have a legitimate threat on the outside. Patterson, if used properly (oh hi Jimmy Graham) could be a lethal addition to that offense.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans are developing a good young core group of players on offense, with Marcus Mariota, Kendall Wright, and (maybe) Dorial Green-Beckham. Adding Patterson to that group would be an intriguing move, and one that could pay big dividends down the road.
Like I said earlier, this is just me thinking out loud. Rumors are rumors, and we need to keep that in mind. But is it plausible that Minnesota is shopping him? Yeah, it is, especially after the two breakout performances by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen against Denver.
And when you compare those two performances against Patterson's in the same game--one catch, nine yards--you can make a solid argument that Patterson isn't in the short or long term plans of the Vikings, and moving him would make sense, as opposed to letting him walk when his contract is up and getting nothing in return.
It will be interesting to watch this all unfold.