Versatile Cordarrelle Patterson on future: 'Atlanta feels like home' 

In nine NFL seasons, Cordarrelle Patterson has played for five teams and been an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler for two of them.

His special teams talents have translated to wherever he's gone, but it was with the Atlanta Falcons under head coach Arthur Smith that his offensive potential finally prospered.

Coming off a career season offensively, Patterson continues to make it known that Atlanta is where he wants to be and where he wants to stay.

"When you get somewhere, Atlanta feels like home, so why not retire here and end my career here?" Patterson said, via Michael Rothstein's From the Perch podcast. "It feels good. It feels like it's the right place, but at the end of the day, I've got to do what's best for me and my family, you know, and if Atlanta is not that place, then it's not that place. Hopefully it is, but if it's not, I'll move on with my life. Being vocal, that's just something that I do, man. When I first got to Atlanta, I said, I'll get in, get the fans involved so when it's time to get a new contract, I've got the fans on my side. So it all played out just how I expected it to."

The numbers are on Patterson's side, too, as he emerged from the 2021 season with career highs of 11 total touchdowns, 618 yards rushing and 548 yards receiving. His statistics are all the more impressive when considering he was hampered by an ankle injury.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has already publicly supported a Patterson return, but it's never that easy, as Atlanta is roughly $7 million over the salary cap.

So, the 49th-ranked player in Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 NFL free agents of 2022 faces an uncertain immediate future.

Patterson, 30, played four seasons with the Vikings to start his career before single years with the Raiders and Patriots prior to a two-year stint with the Bears. He was twice named to the Pro Bowl and as an All-Pro in Minnesota and Chicago.

Moving on is just a reality he knows well. But in Smith's offense he's found the best fit yet.

"I just be want to be somewhere that really just values me," Patterson said. "Just respect me. I want to play ball. It's never been about the money for me, but I do have a family I've got to take of. That's something for me to take into consideration. But, I just want to play ball. I love having fun, I been doing this my whole life. I never stopped having fun with it, so I'm just gonna keep enjoying myself."

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