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The Bears added another piece to the puzzle late Tuesday by agreeing to terms with free agent wide receiver and kick return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson.

Patterson is perhaps most familiar to Bears fans from his time with the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings. He spent the first four years of his career there. But he is most recently remembered for returning a kickoff for a touchdown against the Bears as a member of the New England Patriots last fall.

Patterson was a potential target for the Bears last year as new head coach Matt Nagy was getting ready to install his offense and the Bears were in desperate need of upgrading their receiving corps. He signed with New England for a year instead.

In Patterson, Nagy will get an explosive kick returner capable of improving the average starting field position for the offense. But he’ll also get an extra shiny toy to add to the toy box. Patterson can be that field stretcher that the team seemed to lack last year. But he also lined up in the backfield for the Patriots and can do the same for the Bears.

I’m sure Nagy already is scheming up creative ways to use him. Speed kills, as the old adage goes. With Patterson and Tarik Cohen on the field, defenses will tire quickly. Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller will also take pressure away from Allen Robinson. And Trey Burton is just a jack-of-all-trades. The possibilities seem endless for the Bears offense.

Bears staying the course in free agency

The free agency period hasn’t even officially begun yet, but the Bears are not making the huge splash that many were hoping for. The dreams for signing Le’Veon Bell officially died when the free agent running back agreed to terms with the New York Jets overnight.

The Bears instead will continue to find strategic pieces to add to their already solid roster and look to build upon last season’s successful campaign.