Kickoffs at U.S. Bank Stadium will be a lot less exciting next season.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver and kick return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson signed with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, leaving the team that drafted him after four seasons.
Patterson is a former first-round pick by Minnesota in 2013. He caught only 132 passes in four seasons with the Vikings, but is one of the most dangerous kickoff returners in the game. He averages 30.4 yards per return with five TDs in his career, including one at Oakland in 2015.
Spielman and the Vikings declined to pick up Patterson’s fifth-year contract option last spring, allowing him to hit free agency a year early. The flashy returner played receiver sparingly for the Vikings, and had previously expressed a desire for more playing time.
The Raiders last returned a kick for a touchdown in 2011, when Jacoby Ford did it against Cleveland.