5 overrated offensive players heading into NFL free agency

NFL Free Agency - Chris Godwin (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NFL Free Agency - Chris Godwin (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Free agency
Atlanta Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (84) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

Free agency target Cordarrelle Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson has had one of the more unique careers of a player in recent memory. Drafted as a gadget receiver and returner for the Vikings in 2013, Patterson had a solid rookie season as both a receiver and return specialist.

Unfortunately, his offensive ability continued to regress, and it seemed as though he was only going to be a good return man moving forward. Then, the Patriots used him as a running back in 2018, which changed his offensive use going forward. That said, he still wasn’t seen as a premier offensive threat.

The Falcons used him as a running back and receiver out of the backfield to great success though, and now it seems as though Patterson should gain some interest from teams looking for that style of a player. He essentially jumped Mike Davis as the starter and was used regularly in the Falcons offense. He posted his best season as a professional as a result, as he nearly doubled his career-best total yardage in 2021.

He enters free agency with a lot of intrigue, but I have my reservations. While he can be a fine addition in a committee backfield, I doubt he can touch the ball as much as he did in 2021 and still be as efficient. As well, he will be 31 next season. While he doesn’t rely on pure speed to win as a player, his agility and quickness will likely begin regressing sooner than later.

If this was three or four seasons ago, adding Patterson as a running back/receiver hybrid would be fun and unique. It just seems like this move is too little too late, and while he should garner some interest and receive a nice deal, I’m doubtful he lives up to it. Expecting Patterson to be a starting quality back again and paying him as such is a mistake, and thus he makes the list as an overrated offensive-free agent.