The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We got things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions. You can get caught up on the entire series by clicking right here. Now we are onto the clubs that finished third. And that means the Oakland Raiders are in the spotlight.
WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson
A year ago, the Silver and Black was very busy adding pieces to their defense. The signings of defensive backs Reggie Nelson and Sean Smith and outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, as well as the selection of strong safety Karl Joseph in the first round, was supposed to sure what was ailing this unit.
Instead, the Oakland Raiders went backwards on this side of the ball. This offseason, the team has seen its share of defections via free agency – the majority of those on defense. And just recently, Jack Del Rio’s club parted ways with defensive tackle Dan Williams.
While this team wasn’t overly busy over the last month and a half, the addition of wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson is worth noting. The 2013 first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings snagged a career-high 52 passes this past season. It was quite the bounce back year in terms of his receiving numbers considering he totaled only two grabs in 2015.
But Patterson is a two-time Pro Bowl return artist, with five career kickoffs taken back for touchdowns. This is a department where the Raiders ranked 22nd in the league in 2016 in terms of kickoff return average. And with Andre Holmes signing with the Buffalo Bills this offseason, Patterson gives quarterback Derek Carr another wideout option – joining the talented trifecta of Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper and Seth Roberts.