6 Former Bears Chicago Should Sign for a Reunion in Free Agency

Could the Bears bring back some familiar faces in 2024?

Chicago Bears, Leonard Floyd
Chicago Bears, Leonard Floyd / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Cordarrelle Patterson, RB/WR

Throughout his career, Cordarrelle Patterson has been defined by his versatility. There’s also a case to be made that he’s been held back by this as well.

A first-round pick out of Tennessee back in 2013, Patterson spent the first four years of his career as a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. He never truly developed into a consistent threat on offense but had some exciting moments both as a receiver and as a runner.

Still, he was seen as more of a return specialist, and that remained the case over the next four years as he played for the Oakland Raiders, and New England Patriots for one season each and had two years with the Bears. Patterson split time as a receiver and running back during that tenure as well while continuing to serve as a return man. For the Bears, he had a lot of success in this role.

Patterson made the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020 for Chicago when he had 825 yards and a touchdown on kick returns followed by 1,017 yards and another touchdown. From there, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons and while had 34 returns for 871 yards and one score in three seasons with the Falcons, he made his mark as a running back.

In all, he had 1,494 yards with 14 touchdowns and most of that was done in 2021 and 2022. At 33 years of age, his price tag in free agency will be low and while he had just 181 yards in 2023, he was also playing for Arthur Smith who suddenly decided to get weird(er) with his play-calling. Perhaps a reunion would be good for Patterson and the Bears could use a veteran running back, especially if they roll into Week 1 with a rookie signal-caller.