3 Birds One Stone
March 12, 2019
As the sun was setting on Halas Hall, the Chicago Bears and Cordarrelle Patterson agreed upon a two year $10 million dollar contract. Patterson, a former 2013 first round draft pick(Min), could potentially give the Chicago Bears an upgrade at three different positions...
Improving running back depth was an off season priority for the Bears. Last year Patterson proved he can run the ball out of the backfield, stepping in for Sony Michelle (sprained knee), carrying the ball 42 times for 228 yards a 5.4 yard average. Benny Cunningham and Taquan Mizzell combine for a whopping 20 carries for 36 yards in 2018. Seeing as his natural position is wide receiver, Patterson has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, has been utilized in the screen game, and used for jet sweeps since the beginning of his career. Although it's not his natural position, in emergency situations, its a major upgrade from the depth at running back in 2018. P.S. He is 6'2" 228 and runs a 4.42 40 yd dash (same as Tarik Cohen), utilizing a two back set on third downs could be deadly.
It's funny how a player like Josh Bellamy can go from being hated to becoming a fan favorite. In 2017 Bellamy was used as a wide receiver more than he should have been due to injuries, exposing some weaknesses. Then in 2018, when being used properly as a special team's star, converting a few third key downs, and being the first one to step in when Mitchell Trubisky took a shot on the sideline against San Francisco. He may have a place in Bear's fans hearts but after he was offered a 2 year $5 million dollar contract, the Bears were willing to let him walk. In 2018 Patterson had 21 receptions for 247 compared to Bellamy's 14 receptions for 117 yards. Tack on Kevin White's 4 receptions for 92 yards and they still don't combine to reach Patterson's 2018 numbers, a year he played running back for half his snaps. Patterson hasn't reached his first round expectations, but seeing Patterson/Wims on the depth chart should have fans feeling much more comfortable about the depth at wide receiver. Wims had an impressive preseason and converted a couple key third downs when active on the 53 man roster in the final game against the Vikings. Bellamy's two biggest contributions to the team were being the DJ at club dub, and playing on virtually every special team. Both will be missed, but as Ryan Pace regularly states, if you're not getting better you're getting worse...
Last year the Bears were ranked dead last in average yards per kick return with 19.1 yards per attempt rotating Benny Cunningham, Josh Bellamy, Anthony Miller, and eventually putting Tarik Cohen back there for the last return against the Eagles, breaking off a 35 yard return, the longest for the team in 2018. That's a hard stat for Bears fans to digest, considering in 2006 they rode Devin Hester and a stacked defense all the way to a Super Bowl appearance. Patterson led the Patriots return game that ranked second in average yards per return with 27, although he averaged 28.3 yards per attempt. Cohen could be a solution but due to him returning punts at an all-pro level, and how much Nagy's loves to use him in his system, the Bears would rather not expose him to the extra high impact hits on kick return if its not necessary. Kicker and kick returner are the two glaring needs on our special teams unit, and Patterson can fill one of those voids. His career average is 30 yards per attempt amassing 5,275 yards and 6 touchdowns over a 6 year career, also earning first team all-pro honors in 2013 and 2016. Stats don't always tell the whole story but I'm trying to remember why we lost that Patriots game again... Let Akiem Hick's tweet explain.
Bellamy is set to make $2.75 million this year and Cunningham's contract last year was set at $1.25 million. Patterson is set to make $5 million this year. The Chicago Bears filled two depth spots and added an all pro kick returner for an extra million dollars. They just got away with highway robbery...