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Terry Fontenot details how Cordarrelle Patterson deal got done

Falcons GM describes how a direct call with Patterson helped finalize a pact, with enough time to see his daughter's softball game. 


While Terry Fontenot was working hard at Falcons headquarters on a Saturday morning, the team's general manager was very conscious of the clock.

It was opening day for his young daughter's softball league, and Fontenot didn't want to miss seeing her play the season's first game.

He couldn't do that before making sure the Falcons re-signed Cordarrelle Patterson.


That's what brought him to senior director of football administration Chris Olsen's office on this day, for a phone call with Sean Kiernan, Patterson's agent. Fontenot, Olsen and manager of football administration Kirsten Grohs opened up a dialogue with Kiernan, whom Fontenot praised for his work, to outline terms of a deal designed to keep the offensive weapon in Atlanta.

Kiernan was going to take the offer to Patterson, then talk to another team seriously vying for his client's services and get back to the Falcons.

Fontenot wanted to skip all those steps, slice through procedural red tape and talk directly to Patterson, right then and there.

"I said, 'Look, man, Call CP on three-way,'" Fontenot said Monday in a one-on-one interview with "Arthur Smith was somewhere else and he's calling CP. There's this whole triangle of communication."

Fontenot wanted to streamline it.

Take a look at our favorite images of Cordarrelle Patterson's breakout season in 2021-22.

Patterson wanted to remain a Falcon after a breakout 2021 campaign in his first year with the organization. The Falcons wanted the versatile playmaker and positive locker-room presence to stay put. All sides wanted this. Fontenot knew deep down that was true. It was just a matter of finding terms to make all sides happy.

Kiernan added Patterson to the call, and Fontenot got right to it.

"I said, 'Let's get this done right now. We're not getting off the phone until it gets done," Fontenot said. "Then we're reading the deal to Sean, and it was hilarious because CP starts asking questions. He's asking how a certain paragraph reads. He's asking about the guarantees and all these detail questions like he's the agent."

All parties eventually got to a comfortable point, and they agreed on a two-year deal.

"It was great to get that done, and it was cool because he really wanted to be here," Fontenot said. "He cares so much about this place. There were other teams involved, but he really wanted to get a deal done here. He passionately wanted to get it done here.

All that happened in time for Fontenot to make his daughter's softball game and his son's baseball game after that.

"I told him, 'Let's get this deal done so I can go see my kids play,'" Fontenot said. "We got it done.

"It was great and he was really excited, and I think that says something. When people do ask -- we made decisions for the future and we made decisions to do the right things, but it doesn't mean we're not working our ass off to create the best possible team we can have. I think keeping a guy like CP shows that. CP is coming here to win, man. That was a big deal, and we were excited to get that done."

Once they agreed on a deal, Fontenot had one more request for Patterson.

"I said, 'CP, go ahead and tweet it out.'"

Patterson offered a quick reply.

"I already did."


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