Steelers bolster return game by signing Cordarrelle Patterson to a 2-year deal, AP source says

Tue, Mar 26, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Steelers bolster return game by signing Cordarrelle Patterson to a 2-year deal, AP source says

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers are signing veteran running back/kickoff return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson to a two-year deal.

The contract carries a total value of $6 million a source with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

The versatile 33-year-old Patterson spent the past three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. A four-time All-Pro, Patterson gives the Steelers a veteran to help them adjust to the league's new kickoff rules designed to produce more returns.

Patterson has nine kickoff returns for a touchdown in his 11-year career with Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Chicago and Atlanta. Patterson has led the league in kickoff return average three times and has seven kickoff returns of 100 yards or more.

Patterson has filled a variety of roles throughout his career. He was a wide receiver and kick returner while playing for the Vikings, Raiders and Patriots. He was used more out of the backfield during stays in Chicago and Atlanta. Patterson ran for more than 600 yards in 2021 and 2022 but saw his role with the Falcons diminish last season behind rookie Bijan Robinson.

The Steelers have had trouble finding a difference-maker in their return game for years. Pittsburgh's longest kickoff return last season was just 37 yards and it averaged 23.5 yards per return while splitting the job between a handful of players.

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The deal reunites Patterson with former Falcons coach Arthur Smith, who is now Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator. It's unlikely the Steelers would use Patterson in the running game. Pittsburgh has one of the best one-two punches in the NFL in Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren.

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WILL GRAVES Graves is a national writer for The Associated Press, based in Pittsburgh. He covers the NFL, MLB, NHL, the Olympics and major college sports. twitter facebook mailto "
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