MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings said after the 2015 season that Cordarrelle Patterson was heading toward a telltale year. The wide receiver admitted as much. Now the Vikings have put their money -- or perhaps more accurately, won't put it -- where their mouth is.
The team informed the wide receiver that it will not pick up his fifth-year option, according to a league source.
The Vikings had informed the agents for cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd earlier Monday that they would exercise the options for both players, making Patterson the only one of the Vikings' three 2013 first-round picks not to have his option picked up.
It didn't seem things would be headed this way after Patterson's electric rookie season, when he became an All-Pro kick returner and scored a combined seven receiving and rushing touchdowns. When Patterson rushed three times for 102 yards in the Vikings' season-opening win over the Rams in 2014, gaining 67 yards on a toss play from the backfield, it appeared he was headed toward a breakout year.
Instead, Patterson struggled to become a traditional receiver in Norv Turner's offense and had lost his starting split end job by the middle of the 2014 season. He led the league in kick return average again in 2015, bringing back two kicks for touchdowns, but he caught only two passes as his role in the offense all but disappeared.
The Vikings would have had to pay Patterson $7.9 million in 2017 on his fifth-year option, which seemed especially unlikely after the team used the 23rd overall pick on Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell on Thursday night. Patterson said in February that he had been working with wide receivers coach Steve Calhoun, trying to refine his route-running after his struggles contributed to his diminished role in the offense. He also spent time with Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in a series of workouts last month in Orlando, Florida.
"I just approach this whole year way different than I've been doing," Patterson said in February. "I'm a lot more focused, just trying to work on my craft -- route-running, getting in and out of breaks, just trying to get the timing good with Teddy."
Barring a marked improvement in 2016, Patterson could be playing his final season with Bridgewater in Minnesota.