Yesterday, NFL insider Charles Robinson made a series of tweets about anticipated salaries of free agents, based on conversations he's had with NFL insiders. if you want the full rundown, check out his time line on Twitter; he's got some interesting numbers for some players, several who might or not interest the Vikings.
One of those players is Vikings WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson, and Robinson tweeted the following:
When you add that nugget of information to the report that Adam Thielen will be tendered at the second round round level and make close to $3 million, the Vikings WR picture starts to come in to a bit more focus.
For one, I love the tender the Vikings are reportedly putting on Thielen. If they lose him, they get a second round pick, which I would take all day for a guy that was an undrafted free agent. Secondly, $2.8 million is a pretty good number for him, and getting him locked up to a 4-5 year deal at that price could turn out to be a bargain. It seems like a win-win for the Vikings, no matter how it turns out. And for the record, I really want to see Thielen back in purple next year.
As to Patterson, had the Vikings exercised his option he would have been making $7.9 million in 2017, so when you compare that to what his apparent market value is, re-signing him for half the price seems like a good deal.
As to wanting him back, I do. Whatever his perceived attitude issues were in late 2014 and 2015 seemed to disappear last year, as he looked like a man possessed when he got the ball in his hands. He's still an electric kick returner, rules to marginalize kick returns aside. He hasn't developed as a wide receiver, but there's no denying that he can make plays when the ball is in his hands. Instead of using him mostly for screens and short passes as a receiver, though, why not use him as a running back more often?
I know it's been discussed here and elsewhere, but when he was used out of the backfield in 2013 and 2014, he did a good job. For his career, he's averaging over 10 yards a carry running the ball, and when he was used as a runner last year, it was out of the backfield as well as your typical reverse or end around, and he managed over six yards a carry in that role. I don't know that anyone envisions Patterson as a lead back, but with the status of Adrian Peterson very much up in the air, having Patterson as an option in the backfield for 5-7 carries a game to go along with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield doesn't sound like a bad option at all.
Is $4 million/yr for a guy that can catch, run, and return kicks a good deal? Yeah, I think it is.
We'll see if the Vikings do.