The New York Giants did not get much help from their kick returners in 2020. Whether it was Corey Ballentine, Dion Lewis or C.J. Board, the Giants were left wanting more field position-changing plays from their kick return team.
If a report from ESPN is accurate, the Giants might be trying to do something big to fix that. They might be trying to sign free agent kick returner/running back/wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
Patterson, 30, is one of the best kickoff returners in the history of the NFL. He has been selected as an All-Pro four times in eight seasons, including each of the last two years as a member of the Chicago Bears. Patterson’s 29.8 yards per kickoff return average is second in NFL history to Gale Sayers, who averaged 30.6 yards on kickoff returns.
Before the Giants played the Bears last season coach Joe said Patterson was “kind of that unique blend of that receiver-running back” and said as a returner he is “one of the best to ever play the game.”
With an extensive background as a special teams coach before becoming Giants head coach, it would make sense if Judge was interested in Patterson. While Patterson was netting 29.1 yards per return a season ago, the Giants averaged only 21.9 yards. A few extra yards of field position could be helpful to the offense.
Selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings as a wide receiver, Patterson has never caught more than 52 passes. In recent seasons, he has been used increasingly as a running back. He had career highs in rushes (64) and yards (232) last season.
Patterson would be a unique weapon for the Giants.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?