Patterson's NFL career has taken him to Washington, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Cleveland, and he's now back in his hometown after the Dolphins claimed him off waivers from the Browns.
While he still has family in South Florida and playing for the Dolphins is nice, Patterson is just about to have gotten another chance after being released by Cleveland.
"It's more just about business than anything else," Patterson said Wednesday. "Any opportunity is a blessing in this league. I'm obviously fortunate enough that they claimed me, where I could be sitting around. I've seen quality players sit for a long time. You see it every year. You just never know when things like this happen. You're not expecting this kind of things to happen. You don't know. That's the reality of this league. I'm fortunate and grateful."
Patterson actually was claimed off waivers by not just the Dolphins but also the Washington Redskins. He was awarded to the Dolphins based on their higher priority claim.
The Dolphins assumed Patterson's contract, which calls for two more years with base salaries of $4.5 million in 2013 and $5.3 million in 2014.
Obviously, Patterson will have to show the Dolphins a lot in these last two games for them to even consider bringing him back at that price tag.
Patterson, though, says the topic of next season wasn't broached when he met with GM Jeff Ireland after the Dolphins picked him up.
As for whether he considers these two weeks an audition, Patterson took a different approach.
"I think everything is an audition," he said. "At this level, everything is an audition. There's no free lunches in this league for the most part, especially when everybody's situation is so totally different. You've got 53 men on a roster, but everybody has their own individual situation and that's the unique part of this business. But whether you have a long-term contract, whatever situation, every time you step on the field it's an audition. Either it's an audition for people to find out what you're about or it's audition to show people that you can be consistent. It's an audition no matter how you look at it."
The immediate plans for Patterson aren't quite clear, although it's possible the Dolphins will need help at cornerback Sunday against Buffalo with Nolan Carroll nursing an injury.
For Patterson, the concern now is just absorbing everything quickly and learning on the run — literally.
After he took his physical with the Dolphins on Wednesday, he raced to the field to join the practice in progress.
"Everything is kind of learning on the run, but just different terminology at the end of the day," Patterson said. "Just trying to get in tune with how they do things, their terminology, what they expect of their players from a technique standpoint.
"I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be somewhere I'm wanted, and that's it. That's all you can ask for."