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Bleacher Report – Vikings

How much will it take for the Vikings to keep Cordarrelle Patterson?

By Matthew Coller

Minnesota Vikings free agent wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson sounds like he is willing to return to the Vikings at the right price.

He told NFL.com on Wednesday that coming back to Minnesota depends on whether he is going to be a significant part of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s plans.

“Two years I spent damn near on the sideline. That’s never a good feeling for any player. No player wants to go through that,” Patterson told NFL.com. “I need to know if I’m going to play or not. If not, I’ll take my talents elsewhere.”

After playing just 61 snaps in 2015, Patterson caught 52 passes in 2016 and become a weapon in the short passing game.

“Pat told me ‘Let’s get you the ball,’” Patterson said. “And I saw a lot of that happening for me. It was good for me. I love when I get the ball in my hands and Pat likes to get the ball to me. No matter who you are, he’s trying to spread the ball around. He’s not going to focus on one or two guys.

“It’s all up to the Vikings. I’m a free agent starting in March and it’s all what the Vikings want to do. If they want me back, they’ll (make a deal) and get me back.”

Yahoo! Sports writer Charles Robinson reported that Patterson’s expected price is around $4 million per season.

Multiple #NFL sources are expecting the free agent contract of #Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson to exceed $4 million per season.

— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) March 6, 2017

That dollar figure might be enough for the Vikings to bring him back. Patterson’s emergence as part of the offense could be the tip of the iceberg if Shurmur is given an entire offseason to figure out ways to utilize his talents. The former first-round pick said on the Pardon My Take podcast he would welcome a chance to move to running back, as Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery.

We wrote about that possibility in December:

The case for moving Cordarrelle Patterson to running back

Patterson has carried the ball 31 times for 333 yards in his four-year career.

While a full-time move might not be the most ideal situation, but his talents could be utilized even more than they were last season. He is an explosive playmaker with the ball, similar to Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill, who the Chiefs used out of the backfield and as a receiver.

While Patterson isn’t likely to become the next Randy Moss, he could offer a great deal of value as a big play threat, no matter where he lines up.

But the Vikings’ receiver, who will turn 26 before next season, could be looking for a contract that is simply out of Minnesota’s price range. The VIkings are desperate to fix their offensive line and will also have to pay restricted free agent Adam Thielen.

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Rams agreed to a four year contract worth $42 million with receiver Tavon Austin. That could be the range that Patterson’s side is asking for. Think that’s crazy? Compare Patterson’s receiving numbers to Austin’s in 2015:

Patterson: 52 receptions, 8.7 YPC, 2 TD, 74.3% catch percentage

Austin: 52 receptions, 9.1 YPC, 3 TD, 54.7% catch percentage

There are some obvious differences. Patterson’s quarterback was much better than Austin’s. Plus, the young receiver ran 52 times for 434 yards and four touchdowns in his contract year – though he wasn’t an unrestricted free agent as Patterson is. The Rams didn’t let him get that far.

The Vikings will probably look for something closer to the deal Travis Benjamin signed with the Chargers. After a 68-catch contract year in 2015, Benjamin agreed to a four-year, $24 million contract with $13 million guaranteed.

Similarly, the Titans inked receiver Rishard Matthews to a three-year, $15 million contract last offseason after catching 43 passes for 661 yards with Miami in his contract year.

Even if Shurmur is a Patterson fan, the Vikings have to be cautious with how much they spend on the receiver position. After 2018, No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs becomes a UFA and may require a huge contract if he continues to perform at a high level.

Though the Vikings can’t focus too much on what’s coming down the road. They expect to be a contender for the NFC North next season and quarterback Sam Bradford needs as many playmakers as he can get.

The post How much will it take for the Vikings to keep Cordarrelle Patterson? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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