Easiest move to help keep the Buccaneers on track in 2022

Cordarrelle Patterson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent option(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent option(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers don’t have a lot of outside money to play with in free agency, but they at least need to make a run at Cordarrelle Patterson.

The outlook for 2022 in Tampa is very different than the one we saw going into the 2021 season. The Buccaneers boat parades and Super Bowl celebrations are over, and it is time to move into this next stage of franchise history in the post-Tom Brady era.

There are a million moves for the Bucs to make on the quarterback front that would inspire more confidence that what they currently have, but let’s move away from that for a minute. What else can Jason Licht and company do to keep this offense humming?

Tampa has more needs than just the quarterback position, and one smart signing could address all of these on the offensive side of the ball.

The Bucs have question marks at running back and at depth receiver in 2022. Some departures in these areas are bound to come, and signing Cordarrelle Patterson solves those issues and more.

Patterson just experienced a breakout offensive season with the Falcons that should interest a lot of teams. His gadget play would get a lot more recognition if it wasn’t for the emergence of Deebo Samuel, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Regardless of who is playing quarterback in 2022, the Buccaneer signal-caller would be more than happy to line up with a threat in the backfield or out wide that can catch as well as anyone in the league or get yards between the tackles when necessary.

The Buccaneers could lose between one and three of their contributing running backs from 2021, so at least one free agent move is coming. You never want to pay a pure RB, but a guy that can catch warrants a market. The funds are tight, but you aren’t just paying for a running back in Patterson.

You’d get a guy who can do everything. Chris Godwin is out with an injury? Patterson can be a serviceable WR2 or WR3. Running back dropping passes? Patterson can fix that too.

And finally, Patterson also brings an improvement to one of the biggest areas of need on the roster; the return game. Cordarrelle Patterson is the best return man in the NFL since Devin Hester, and the Buccaneers could surely use his help in reinvigorating a return game that was one of the worst in the league in 2021.

Jaelon Darden didn’t cut it, Jaydon Mickens is out, Kenjon Barner couldn’t get reps, and the other options are limited. Who better to turn to than a guy who can do it all like Patterson?

The money is a large hangup, but there are ways to make this move work. Patterson also allows the Bucs to address receiver and running back in the draft without snuffing out growth, making him look that much better as an option.

There should be no way that the Falcons let Patterson walk after what we just saw last season, but the Bucs need to watch closely to see if the opportunity is there.

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