Playing time could be a major factor in whether or not Cordarrelle Patterson returns to the Minnesota Vikings for 2017 and beyond.
Patterson, who is in Orlando, Florida for the Pro Bowl this week, told NFL.com that now that he's a free agent he wants to make sure that whatever team signs him actually plans to use him.
"Of course, man. Two years I spent damn near on the sideline," said Patterson. "That's never a good feeling for any player. No player wants to go through that. I need to know if I'm going to play or not. If not, I'll take my talents elsewhere."
Patterson's role with the Vikings grew following the departure of former offensive coordinator Norv Turner. He finished the season with 52 catches for 453 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He had a season-high eight targets on Nov. 6. Over his final nine games of the season Patterson was targeted 46 times compared to just 24 targets in his first seven games.
Patterson isn't ruling out a return to the Vikings, but he's excited about the opportunity to become a free agent.
"I really don't know," Patterson added. "It's all up to the Vikings. I'm a free agent starting in March and it's all what the Vikings want to do. If they want me back, they'll (make a deal) and get me back."
Patterson may dawn the Vikings helmet for the final time Sunday when he represents the NFC as a returner in the Pro Bowl.