Patterson agreed to terms with the Falcons on Saturday on a two-year, $10.5 million deal, a source told ESPN, keeping the multifaceted offensive player with the team that he has had the most offensive success with in his career.
He told ESPN and the "From The Perch" podcast in late February he wanted to return to the Falcons as long as it made sense for him and his family, saying, "Atlanta spoiled me" in 2021 with how he was used. He also made clear he would like to break the NFL's all-time kick return touchdown mark -- he's tied for the all-time lead with eight touchdowns -- in Atlanta with special teams coordinator Marquice Williams.
Patterson set career highs for rushing and receiving with the Atlanta Falcons in 2021, running for 618 yards and six touchdowns on 153 carries, while catching 52 passes for 548 yards and five touchdowns.
Part of what made Patterson's career renaissance intriguing was his switch in positions. Initially drafted as a wide receiver by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, he became a full-time running back -- often split out wide -- under Falcons first-year head coach Arthur Smith.
Patterson, 31, more than doubled his previous season high in carries (64 in 2020) and had his most targets as a receiver since the 2016 season with the Vikings. He often expressed his desire to return to the Falcons toward the end of the season and early in the offseason, using social media -- and his cleats -- to persuade Atlanta to keep him after the best offensive season of his career.
After leaving Minnesota following the 2016 season, Patterson bounced between the Raiders in Oakland, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears before landing in Atlanta. Before the 2021 season, Patterson, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro, was best known as one of the top kick returners of all time, with 257 career returns for 7,552 yards and eight touchdowns. His eight kick-return touchdowns are tied for tops in NFL history, and his kick-return average of 29.4 yards is third best in NFL history.
NFL Network was first to report Patterson's agreement with the Falcons.