Even in these trade-happy NFL days the Patriots have been among the most active teams when it comes to wheeling and dealing, and on Sunday Bill Belichick swung yet another. According to multiple reports, New England acquire wide receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson and a sixth-round pick from Oakland in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
Patterson, who spent the first four years of his career in Minnesota before moving to Oakland last season. While he hasn't been able to solidify himself as a regular receiver in either place, Patterson has developed into a dangerous weapon as a kick returner with five touchdowns to his credit during his five-year career.
With Dion Lewis off to Tennessee in free agency, Patterson figures to get a chance to replace him as the lead kickoff returner. He returned 19 kicks for Oakland in 2018 and averaged 28.3 yards per return.
If he makes the roster he'll join a crowded group of wide receivers that includes Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Malcolm Mitchell, Kenny Britt, Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister on the depth chart; Edelman and Mitchell are coming off knee injuries that cost them the 2017 season. Patterson had just 31 catches for 309 yards last season, but his value for the Patriots would likely fall on special teams.