The Atlanta Falcons and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson agreed to a one-year, $3 million contract Thursday.
Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported the news. Patterson, who plays wide receiver and running back on offense, spent the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. He earned first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections in 2019 and 2020.
A 2013 first-round pick who struggled to break out as a wide receiver, Patterson has found his niche as an all-purpose player. His 29.8 yards per kick return rank second-highest in NFL history behind only Gale Sayers, a number made more impressive by recent rule changes that have curbed kickoff returns.
Patterson's eight career kickoff returns for a touchdown are tied with Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington for the most in NFL history.
"It's football," Patterson said in November of his all-purpose role in Chicago. "It's something I've been doing my whole life. When my number is called, I just have to go out there and try to make a play for my team."
The Falcons will be Patterson's fifth NFL team. He previously played for the Minnesota Vikings, Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots and Bears.
The Raiders were the only team for whom Patterson didn't earn first-team or second-team All-Pro honors.
Atlanta was one of the NFL's worst kick-returning outfits last season, averaging 20.5 yards per return, 25th in the league. Only the Miami Dolphins (12) returned fewer kicks than the Falcons (20).