The Falcons have several storylines fans are buzzing about this offseason — the prospect of trading Calvin Ridley, finding Matt Ryan’s successor, and whether or not the front office will re-sign the few bright spots from the 2021 season.
Foye Oluokun is the defensive signal caller and an instrumental piece in what was a disappointing unit under Dean Pees. Cordarrelle Patterson is another impending free agent the front office will have to decide on. Given the impact he had on Atlanta’s offense, Patterson returning to the Falcons seems like the best outcome for both sides.
Patterson ran for 618 yards, caught 52 passes for 548 yards and scored a career-high 11 touchdowns. After mainly contributing on special teams for most of his career, a permanent move to the backfield resulted in a breakout campaign for the 30-year-old. The mutually beneficial signing last offseason has caused Patterson to begin campaigning for the Falcons to retain him, potentially for the rest of his career.
Most recently, Patterson noted that Atlanta has “spoiled” him with the opportunity to have a more prominent role on offense and that his preference is to remain a Falcon. However, his comments on the situation are pretty revealing.
“When you get somewhere, Atlanta feels like home, so why not retire here and end my career here,” Patterson said, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN. “It feels good. It feels like it’s the right place, but at the end of the day, I’ve got to do what’s best for me and my family, you know, and if Atlanta is not that place, then it’s not that place. Hopefully it is, but if it’s not, I’ll move on with my life. Being vocal, that’s just something that I do, man. When I first got to Atlanta, I said, I’ll get in, get the fans involved so when it’s time to get a new contract, I’ve got the fans on my side. So it all played out just how I expected it to.”
Those words are quite intriguing. Fans absolutely adore Patterson. In just one season, he’s become a fan favorite. He’s incredibly interactive with fans in multiple mediums — giving away tickets, game-worn gear, and playing catch with fans before games.
It really is a genius plan for Patterson. He found an owner who is notorious for making decisions with his heart instead of his brain. The Julio Jones saga is the perfect example. The fans loved Jones, and Blank gave in to his contract demands. Now, Patterson has Blank right where he wants him.
Blank weighed in on the situation during Super Bowl week, saying the front office was negotiating with Patterson’s camp with nothing but praise for Patterson himself, “… He’s a terrific young man. He’s great with the fans. He’s great in the locker room. He’s a real competitor… I hope that he’ll be a Falcon this time [next] year.”
Patterson has the fan base and the owner in his pocket, and it seems like things are heading towards a new contract. Hopefully, this regime will be able to make decisions with their brains instead of their heart.