The Bucs & Cordarrelle Patterson

March 6th, 2021

It’s rare to see a four-time All-Pro hit the free agent market in his prime.

And it’s also rare to see a Bucs team with a dangerous return game.

Dynamic returner/receiver/running back Cordarrelle Patterson, a man who won a ring Tom Brady three years ago and earned his fourth All-Pro honor last season, is a pending free agent.

As a returner, Patterson is a terror, the Devin Hester of this generation. As a receiver, he’s nothing special, maybe an intriguing No. 4 option. As a running back, he’s a unique puzzle piece averaging 6.1 yards per carry over 167 career rushes.

So why is Joe typing about Patterson?

Well, if Chris Godwin walks in free agency, a guy like Patterson could be in play to sign along with free agent Antonio Brown or Breshad Perriman to bolster the Bucs receiving corps at a savings. Remember, Perriman played plenty of slot receiver for the Bucs in 2019, in addition to being an outside threat.

Patterson, who turns 30 this month, earned about $5 million last season with the Bears, amassing more than 1,000 kick-return yards and taking one to the house. He was a handful for the Bucs in the Bears’ Week 5 win last season, catching three balls for 38 yards and averaging 40 yards through three kick returns.

No, the Bucs do not need Patterson to win another Super Bowl. But a superstar returner that’s also a versatile offensive piece might be more valuable than, say, tight end depth.

Again, Joe can only imagine the Bucs considering Patterson if Godwin leaves the team and, of course, if Brady has warm feelings about his season with Patterson.

Per, Brady loved the guy.

“I call him ‘The Experiment,’” the Patriots quarterback said.

“Just because he can do it all,” he explained. “We’re all just trying new things with him. I just love what he does.”

Enjoy Friday’s Ira Kaufman Podcast, presented by Bill Currie Ford.

29 Responses to “The Bucs & Cordarrelle Patterson”

  1. Buchead954 Says:

    I like it. We need a return game so baaaddd it’s been so long since spurlock smh

  2. BradentuckeyBuc Says:

    Godwin is as good as gone. We simply cannot dedicate that much salary to the receiver position. The drop off from Godwin to one of a handful of very good free agent receivers at a fraction of the cost is not that drastic. Would love him to stay and appreciate his talent and contributions here, but he’ll be feeding his family elsewhere next season…and feeding them well!

  3. Winny Testaverde Says:

    I’ve always liked Patterson’s game…re-invented himself along the way when the # 1 receiver role was a bit much for him initially. He’s an ideal affordable addition. They haven’t had a decent returner since Michael Spurlock ( run Michael run! )

  4. Swampbuc Says:

    Wouldn’t hate that at all. Perriman played very well for us in 19. If Chris leaves, either or both of them if AB also leaves.

  5. Chuckstutz Says:

    One place we could really use a little help!

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Let’s face it…..nobody wants to let Godwin go…..but it has to be measured against the cost…..
    It’s reasonable to think we could find a replacement for him in the draft or FA… good…no….but as expensive…..hel! no.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m waiting for Michael Spurlock to come out of retirement and take one to the house.

    Seems it’s a once-every-31-year event.
    The Bucs have had the same amount of luck signing a return threat as they have with edge rushers….again, once every ten years or so.

  8. PassingThru Says:

    I wouldn’t pay $5 million for Patterson. He’s a nice pickup if we strike out with a couple of our own free agents first. Excellent return man, but the Buc STs suffers from more than just not having a quality return man, the blocking is poor on the returns.

    On offense he’s not much of a receiver. He is fast and elusive, he’s dangerous with the ball in his hands. You can use him on jet sweeps, simple quick hit passes, and if you’re creative with gadget plays.


    Perfect addition for a weak special teams. Don’t think Mickens would be flexing his biceps if Patterson is signed.

  10. Casual Observer Says:

    A good idea to keep our (currently) lackluster return game in mind.

  11. Mort Says:

    LOL no.

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Just because he earned five mil last season doesn’t mean we’d pay him that. We’d almost certainly pay him less. Again it depends on what they do with Godwin and others but I could see this making sense if the chips fell that way.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    This guy is only 29? It seems he’s been around forever.

  14. Steven007 Says:

    Joe in Michigan, I have the exact same thought. I think he entered the league quite young.

  15. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Well, he’ll be 30 on the start date of free agency, March 17th.

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    @Cobraboy … “Bucs have had the same amount of luck signing a return threat as they have with edge rushers”.

    Wow that’s pushing it Cobraboy. Our ‘luck’ in DRAFTING & DEVELOPING our own edge rushers is virtually non-existent.

    2019 … Antony Nelson (4th Rnd) – Not showing much yet
    2016 … Noah Spence (2nd Rnd) – 3 yrs with us; out of football since after 2019 season.
    2013 … Will Gholston (4th Rnd) – Still hanging in there, but as an interior DLineman more than as edge rusher.
    2013 … Steven Means (5th Rnd) – 2 yrs with us; now with Atlanta
    2011 … Adrian Clayborn (1st Rnd) – 4 yrs with us; now with Cleveland
    2011 … Daquan Bowers (2nd Rnd) – 5 yrs with us; out of football since 2015

    It gets even worse before that (Eric Lorig, Kyle Moore, Gaines Adams, Greg Peterson, Julian Jenkins, Dewayne White, John Stamper, Ellis Wyms, Joe Tafoya … that takes us back to 2000).

    So ya, JL needs to listen to all those who say let Shaq walk and draft his replacement for much less $$$. It’s worked out so well for us over these last 20 yrs. What could possibly go wrong?

  17. BucEmUp Says:


  18. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    I would love that signing, but I doubt it happens, as the Buc return game has been undynamic since the inception of the franchise.

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    Let’s not resign Shaq or Godwin and get a bunch of talented FA with a stable of good coaches. WIN NOW 2.0 but we gotta make room for the Brady’s Bucs black hole effect to work. I’d love to get Perriman back. Champions have talent spread across the board. Especially a Tom Brady championship team. Always hear so and so won a ring with Brady.

  20. August 1976 Buc Says:

    TAG YOUR IT SHAQ!!!! Thanks DR for just stating the facts. No time to fix something that is not broke. Keep the defensive front 7 intact. The pass rush the Bucs HAVE is a massive difference maker. It is why Green Bay and Buffalo were spectators and not playing in the Super Bowl, and why KC got beat. Without the pass rush they would not have beaten Green Bay or KC. The pass rush is why the Bucs were the first team to seal club the Mahome boys. It was the first blowout- stomping- beatdown taken by KC in the Mahomes era. The pass rush caused the best young QB the NFL has ever seen to look very human. Watching Mahome boy running 497 yards for his life was a beautiful sight. lol This is why the NFL pays huge money for feared pass rushers that can wreck games. TAG YOUR IT SHAQ!!!

  21. Steve Gaudreau Says:

    Get this! The Patriots used him successfully as a running back for a couple of games until the backs were healthy to play. He did pretty well too. I was shocked.

  22. CalBucsFan Says:

    Joe, you said Patterson “might be more valuable than, say, tight end depth”…..

    and then the very next line says:

    “Again, Joe can only imagine the Bucs considering Patterson if Godwin leaves the team”

    Godwin’s a WR, so did you mean Brate, Hudson or Auclair?

  23. Bucanero Says:

    Cool idea! special times need to improve. Shop OJ he is cool but we should have drafted Dalvin with that pick. Brady with better field position is going to win us more games.

  24. Sesteprenelicus Says:

    I love this idea. Godwin is great but in this league you can’t win paying for two #1 receivers. Patterson has impressed me since the combine, it would be great having him on this team.

  25. Gettinthebucs Says:

    I can still see johnson taking the godwin role. Sometimes you have to let good players go. I have more faith in Licht finding another receiver than an elite pass rusher. This year’s draft is another deep one at WR too. We got Godwin in the third round and if he signs to another team for a monster deal we’ll probably get a 3rd round compensatory pick. This is how the good teams stay good.

  26. SKBucsfan Says:

    Of all the crazy scenarios about free agency that Joe has posted on here this is the one that makes sense. He would be affordable and very versatile. Let’s hope it happens.

  27. TOM Says:

    The Bucs have way more important signings of there own to worry about.

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs really do need a legit return guy – why they don’t ever pursue that is beyond me. They’ll pay $3m for a stupid and awful punter because they claim he’s good at kickoffs, getting you an extra 0.23-yards over average (and costing you 3 yards on each punt), but they won’t pay for a kick return who might get you an extra 5-yards per return along with the occasional TD.

  29. TheJudge Says:

    Would be surprised to see Bucs walk away from Godwin. 25, pro bowl bonafides, great after the catch, solid blocker, not a diva and has said he’d take a tag. My bet is he gets it. That said can’t afford to lose both LVD and Shaq but can’t afford two eight figure salaries no matter the restructures possible. In fact probably need to cut/ trade Brate or Howard And D Smith to to keep one or the other. Light has been pretty effective at choosing FA’s and draft choices since Bowles and BA have been whispering in his ear. Should be interesting.