Cordarrelle Patterson will be free to sign with any team in the league when his status as an unrestricted free agent becomes official at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The Pro Bowl kick returner ,who hasn't done much as a wide receiver since exploding onto the scene as a rookie four years ago, told NFL.com in January that he'll leave the Vikings if he's not ensured more playing time.
“I need to know if I’m going to play or not. If not, I’ll take my talents elsewhere," he said.
A possible destination for Patterson: the Chicago Bears, according to NFL reporter Alex Marvez.
Yahoo's Charles Robinson reported earlier this week that Patterson will likely command $4 million a year as a free agent. That's less than the $7 million fifth-year option the Vikings declined, so, as Daily Norseman explains, $4 million is a pretty good deal for a guy with Patterson's ability to return kicks, catch passes and occasionally play some running back.
Patterson is also on record saying he would "love" to play more running back, perhaps even transitioning to the position like Ty Montgomery did with the Packers.
In Chicago, the Bears have Jordan Howard in place as a three-down back, so carries would presumably be few and far between for Patterson if he joins the Bears.
Through four seasons, Patterson has 132 catches for 1,316 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also has 31 carries for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns.