DAVIE, Fla. -- One year ago, Dimitri Patterson was riding high with the Cleveland Browns. The cornerback had just signed a three-year, $16 million contract extension and was looking forward to a promising partnership.
But Patterson never saw that realization in Cleveland. Things quickly went sour for Patterson and the Browns, and he was released just three months into the 2012 season. Patterson, who was later claimed by the Miami Dolphins, previously hinted politics may have been involved in his release but never wanted to get into specifics.
"My departure from there had nothing to do with football," Patterson told ESPN.com in July.
One year later, Patterson will get a crack at his former team when Miami visits Cleveland Sunday in the regular-season opener. Patterson beat out former Miami cornerback Richard Marshall for Miami’s starting job in training camp. Patterson showed many of the same traits in Miami that initially convinced Cleveland to sign him to an extension.
Patterson aims to prove to the Browns this week that he’s still the same player.
“You’re always trying to prove doubters wrong and people who may not think as highly of you as the next person will,” Patterson said on Monday. “That’s just how it goes. That’s just part of the business. My objective is to go out here and make an impact in some form or fashion.”
Patterson, who admits he has an interesting “history” with Cleveland, could get a nice measure of retribution if he makes a big defensive play against the Browns. He will face an offense led by second-year Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden.
It's a group Patterson practiced against every day and knows very well. Rest assured, Patterson will be sharing his knowledge on the Browns with his Miami teammates this week.
“Whatever information I have on some players, strengths and weaknesses, what they bring to the field, no doubt about it,” Patterson explained. “Whatever insight I can provide, I will certainly help us be successful on Sunday.”
It’s been a wild calendar year for Patterson. His unexpected journey from Cleveland to Miami and back to Cleveland for Week 1 will come full circle on Sunday.
Patterson was brought to Miami to help improve the team's 27th-ranked pass defense from last year. He will start opposite fellow corner Brent Grimes in a partially-revamped secondary.
Cleveland’s passing game will be the first test of the year for Miami's secondary, which should provide additional motivation for Patterson to play well.
“It’s like anything else -- you’re always showing there's a reason I’m here,” Patterson said. “There’s a reason I’m playing. There’s a reason I’m in the league [the NFL] and this is what I’m about. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder and it’s not going to change. Every time I go on the field, I have the mindset that I’m a [good] player and this is why I’m here.”