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Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson after deadline: 'I'm happy to be here'

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Vikings want Patterson to stay aggressive on returns (1:15)

ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling looks at the Vikings' struggles on kickoff returns and why special teams coordinator Mike Priefer wants Cordarrelle Patterson to keep bringing the ball out from deep in the end zone. (1:15)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The passing of the NFL's trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon means Cordarrelle Patterson's third NFL season remains in the hands of the Minnesota Vikings -- the team that sent four draft picks to the New England Patriots to take him 29th overall in 2013 and has used him only sparingly since a dynamic rookie season.

The particulars of Patterson's demise have been hashed out more than once -- the Vikings want him to get the ball as a traditional wide receiver more than as a gadget guy, he hasn't been sharp enough in his route-running or good enough at creating separation to get open in the offense, etc. -- and at this point, the Vikings are using Patterson as even less than a novelty. He hasn't played more than 17 snaps since Week 12 of the 2014 season, per Pro Football Focus, and 37 of his 53 snaps this season have been as a run-blocker, mostly as the lone receiver in the Vikings' '22' personnel (two running backs, two tight ends).

Patterson, though, was doing his best to stay positive Thursday, as new starting split end Stefon Diggs fielded questions about becoming the first receiver in NFL history to post at least 85 yards in each of his first four games. While the future of the Vikings' latest rookie receiving star looks bright, the future of their previous one is unclear. For now, though, Patterson said he's trying to make the best of things.

"You never know when someone goes down or when your number is going to be called," Patterson said. "So I've just got to be prepared for anything, the best or the worst. I’m here. I’m happy to be here, and whatever happens, it happens. So I've just got to keep my head high and just stay happy and stay positive.”

The Vikings have to make a decision on Patterson's fifth-year option by next May, and it seems unlikely they'd pick it up, especially considering Patterson has no guaranteed money in his 2016 salary. He's scheduled to make $1,389,687 and carry a cap number of $2,297,605, but the Vikings could recoup the nearly $1.4 million of cap space by letting him go.

But they've also seen how explosive Patterson can be, and general manager Rick Spielman typically is patient with his draft picks. The Vikings might decide it's worth one more go with Patterson, who will only be 25 years old next season. Whatever happens, the receiver is trying to stay positive now.

"I know my ability. I know what I can do," Patterson said. "I just got to control what I can control, man, and when an opportunity comes I just got to make the most of it. I’m not getting that many opportunities, and I don’t know why. But things happen for a reason and you got to be ready for it. The way I’m handling it, man, I feel like I’m handling it the best (I can). I’m not getting frustrated or anything. When the time comes, I'm going to be ready."