Buccaneers: Division rivals steal away perfect free agent

Cordarrelle Patterson, free agent option for the Buccaneers (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Cordarrelle Patterson, free agent option for the Buccaneers (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers missed out on Cordarrelle Patterson to the Atlanta Falcons.

While none of us anticipate this offseason to be a period of ‘what ifs,’ there are still some moves that will hurt. The Buccaneers don’t have any massive gaps on their roster or pressing needs, but Cordarrelle Patterson signing with another team is a missed opportunity.

As it stands, the biggest gap in production in Tampa right now is on special teams. Jaydon Mickens in 2020 was better than some of his predecessors at the position, but this was still not at the level that the Buccaneers need.

With Mickens questionable to return in 2021, the Bucs should have been in the market for the best special teams player possible. As one of the best return men of the past decade, Patterson looked like a great opportunity.

In addition to his ability as a special teamer, Patterson is a gadget player across the offense with the ability to line up at running back and wide receiver. The Bucs don’t need anyone in these spots for now with their current roster, but it never hurts to have depth when competing for another Super Bowl.

Now, the Buccaneers will have to keep their eyes open during free agency and the draft in an effort to find another return man that can up the production of the unit. This wouldn’t cost or take much to occur, but special teams has to be a greater point of emphasis for Tampa Bay in 2021.

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The true shame about losing Patterson to free agency is that he is now an opponent of the Buccaneers yet again. Tampa has seen Patterson plenty during his time with the Bears and some horrific losses, but having to play him twice a season now is a daunting task.

The coverage unit better be ready for Cordarrelle Patterson twice a year.

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