The expected is now reality in Atlanta, the new home of Cordarrelle Patterson.
Football's best return man is officially a Falcon, signing a one-year deal with Atlanta, the team announced Thursday. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the contract is worth $3 million, per a source informed of the situation.
Patterson's signing followed a Wednesday visit with the team, which evidently convinced him to move to Georgia following two seasons spent in Chicago. Atlanta will be Patterson's fifth NFL home in nine seasons, bringing with him a premier pedigree in the return game built upon eight career kick-return touchdowns and coming off two straight Pro Bowl appearances.
The four-time, first-team All-Pro return man isn't just a returning ace, of course. Patterson has plenty of experience as a receiver, running back and as the focus of gadget-style plays, too, bringing an element of unpredictability to the Falcons' offense whenever new coach Arthur Smith sees fit.
If nothing else, Patterson will be a threat to opponents when it comes time to kick off. He's already an instant upgrade, too: As our own Kevin Patra wrote Wednesday, Atlanta hasn't had a kick returning finish with more than 700 yards since Andre Roberts in 2017. Patterson has led the league in kick-return yards in each of his last two seasons, racking up 1,842 and two TDs. He's also scored a kick-return TD in each of his last three seasons (take that, Father Time).
After turning 30 in March -- his birthday is on St. Patrick's Day -- we'll see if Patterson can bring some luck to Atlanta in 2021.