By: Philip Robinson | @chocP3thunder | 3/14/2016
News broke out of Raiders Headquarters in Alameda, Ca last night that wide receiver and special teams ace Cordarrelle Patterson will be signing with the team. While terms of the deal are currently unavailable the Oakland Raiders have just made a splashy entrance into the free agency market albeit in an unexpected area of need.
Patterson is the best kick returner in the game today, in 2016 he made the Pro Bowl as well as earning a spot as an AP First Team All-Pro. Standing at six-foot-two, weighing 220 pounds, Patterson is a home-run threat every time he touches the football. Producing the second highest kick return average in the history of the league at 30.4 yards per return, Patterson brings elite return game capabilities to the Raiders. In 2015 Patterson returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Raiders in our very own Black Hole.
In his four years in the league Patterson has been named to two Associated Press First All-Pro Teams, two Pro Bowls and one Second team All-Pro as a kick returner. With 4,075 career return yards on 134 returns and five return touchdowns Patterson fits a unique niche the Raiders have been lacking since hall of famer Tim Brown.
Patterson enjoyed his best season as a wide receiver in 2016 with Sam Bradford as his quarterback. Converting 52 catches of 70 targets for 453 yards and two touchdowns Patterson was a solid third option for the Vikings. His 74.3% catch rate is leaps and bounds superior to Seth Roberts (49.4%) and having a quarterback like Derek Carr will only help Patterson’s career that much more. As has become his custom the first to welcome new players to the team Carr took to twitter to send his shout out to Patterson
Marshall Newhouse is a versatile offensive lineman capable of manning both guard and tackle positions. Initially drafted under Reggie Mckenzie’s watch in Green Bay, Newhouse was signed to a 2 year $3.5 million contract on friday to bolster depth and potentially offer Carr a little better coverage on his insurance policy.
Newhouse has been described as either a solid piece on the line or an absolute turnstile and he will show both in the same game. Newhouse ranked better in pass protection according to Pro Football Focus and was graded at 75.1, recently departed Menelik Watson was graded 48.4 as a pass protector. Newhouse will be given a shot to earn the starting job even though he is behind Vadal Alexander and Denver Kirkland on the depth chart.
The Raiders are winning free agency. I’ll say it again, the Raiders are winning free agency. Patterson and Newhouse may not have been the names of desire, but having watched the exorbitant amount of money showered upon free agents unable to be retained, it’s incredible that Mckenzie is upgrading vacated positions at a mere fraction of the going rate. This Raiders staff continues to find players who will improve their football team while maintaining fiscal discipline and that is what will continue to keep them elevated as contenders.
Stats provided by Pro-Football-Focus and Pro-Football-Reference