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Steve Atwater: Hang on to Tim Patrick

The Hall-of-Fame safety told Broncos Country Tonight that Patrick isn’t just a great wide receiver, he’s also a great all-around football player.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Tim Patrick, Denver’s most reliable wide receiver in 2020 with a “0.0% drop rate,” noticed on Tuesday that Pro Football Focus had somehow left him on their list of best receivers according to the stat.

And he made sure to point it out.

A couple of his teammates tried to console him:

But Patrick wasn’t backing down from his point - and 30 hours later PFF noticed.

And no doubt PFF should have.

Patrick, who has cost the Broncos less than $2 million since joining the team on the practice squad in 2017, was the most reliable receiver on the field in 2020, making big catches in the clutch time and again for a very up-and-down offense.

And now that the 28-year-old is a restricted free agent, the Broncos have a decision to make - do they place a second-round tender on him (and likely hold onto him) or do they let him test free agency and possibly end up somewhere else?

For Steve Atwater, the Hall-of-Fame safety who joins Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright every Tuesday on Broncos Country Tonight, there’s one answer - keep him.

“Tim Patrick, he was the leader of that receivers room especially after Courtland Sutton went down, and he just came through in the clutch,” Atwater said. “Not only is he a great wide receiver, he’s just a great football player. He does it all well. ...Whatever you need him to get done, he’s going to get the job done.”

And much like the case with Justin Simmons where players in the locker room will be watching to see how the front office rewards the guys who produce on the field, Atwater believes how the team handles Patrick could send a message.

“I think they’re watching,” Atwater added.

Allbright pointed out that with Sutton back in the line-up - and Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler and Noah Fant all looking to contribute - Patrick could have a smaller role. And he wondered if the team should give him the second-round tender to likely keep him or give him the original round tender so he can get bigger contract offers on the market (which Allbright called doing “right by the player.”)

But Atwater would much rather keep Patrick in Denver.

“We’re hoping Courtland Sutton is coming back 100%, but we don’t know that,” he said, noting that it takes time to fully get back after a major knee injury. “You don’t want to let Tim Patrick go and be a thorn in our side somewhere else.”

But more than that, Atwater thinks holding on to Patrick is the best move for the offense.

“Again, he’s a guy who came through in the clutch when we needed him, and I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Poll

What should Broncos do with Tim Patrick?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Keep him with a second-round tender
    (553 votes)
  • 3%
    Let him test the market and get what he can
    (23 votes)
  • 10%
    I’m just glad to not be reading a QB article
    (69 votes)
645 votes total Vote Now