Patterson had career highs in carries (153), rushing yards (618) and receiving yards (548). He tied his career high in catches with 52.
Patterson is set to become a free agent March 16 if he and the Falcons don’t reach a new deal before free agency starts. He wants to fulfill his mother’s wishes, “But you know, the business side, man, a lot of people don’t see the business side of everything,” Patterson said. “I’m going to let my agent and the (general manager) handle that. Just sit back and just keep grinding.”
Patterson was drafted by the Vikings in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 draft. He starred immediately as a kickoff returner, but the team didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. He spent a season with the Raiders and then was traded to the Patriots. After that season, he went on to spend two seasons with the Bears.
He followed some members of the Bears staff, Charles London and Dave Ragone, to the Falcons.
“I just have to thank coaches (Arthur) Smith, (Ragone) and (former running backs coach) Des Kitchens for putting me in position to go out there and make plays,” Patterson said. “Trusting and believing in me throughout the whole season. Just gave me the opportunity.”
Patterson will turn 31 on March 17.
He had a four-year contract that paid $7.2 million with the Vikings. He had two-year deal with the Raiders, but was traded in March 2018 to the Patriots, where he made $9.4 million.
He had a two-year, $10 million deal with the Bears.
“I’m just going back and do what I’m normally doing,” Patterson said. “Training for the season. No matter what team I’m on, I’m going to give it my all if it’s here or somewhere else. That just something that I do. I just go get ready to work my (expletive) off.”
Patterson, a four-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro pick as a kickoff returner, was pleased with his production this season from scrimmage.
“I’d change all of that just to get into the playoffs,” Patterson said. “That’s what we fight for man, to go to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. People don’t want to end their season like we’re doing right now, talking to (reporters) on a Monday. All of that could change if I could have made it to the playoffs with this team.”
Outside of Patterson and rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, nothing much went right for the Falcons on offense.
“I don’t think anybody thought I’d have the season I had,” Patterson said. “I know everybody just you know, look at me as a special-teams player. That’s what a lot of people probably thought when I signed here.”
In addition to keeping one of their only weapons, the Falcons must add more weapons and improve the blocking along the offensive line.
“It wasn’t the season we wanted, but we had some good and some bad,” Patterson said. “You know, we just have to keep building off the good and just try to move forward to next year.”
The Falcons missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and had their fourth consecutive losing season. However, Patterson believes the Falcons did lay the foundation for brighter future.
“Just the foundation (Smith) is building and the chemistry that he has with these guys in this locker room on and off the field,” Patterson said. “So, I’d be a fool not to want to play for Arthur. He’s a great, he’s a great coach, a great guy. So, we’ll see what happens.”
Before Patterson gets back to his grind, there’s a planned trip.
“I’m going to take the kids to Disney,” Patterson said. “Enjoy myself and get back in the gym. I’m about to be 31. I can’t be taking too much time off. These young kids out here running up on me all day. I can’t take too much time off and let these little players think they’ve got the upper hand on me.”
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