Patriots: Damiere Byrd opened door for Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne signings

Patriots WR Damiere Byrd (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Patriots WR Damiere Byrd (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Farewell to Damiere Byrd. After a career year with the New England Patriots in 2020, the wideout has found a new home with the Chicago Bears.

Most fans probably don’t care, but others might be wondering why the Pats let him walk.

He was a reliable security blanket for Cam Newton, who had a lot of trouble throwing the ball last year.

There was clearly value in his rapport with the veteran QB after the two spent time together in Carolina.

Byrd is a shifty 5-foot-8, 180-pound receiver. He’s not a No. 1. But he can get open over the middle of the field and use his speed to get beyond the secondary and catch the deep ball. It was nice to see his talents finally burst onto the scene with the Patriots this past season.

But all Byrd’s performance did was open Bill Belichick’s and Josh McDaniels’ eyes to seek better options. A receiver of his skill set clearly helped elevate Newton, who will be the starter again in 2021.

Former Patriots WR Damiere Byrd signed with the Chicago Bears.

So what did the Pats do? They went out and signed two better options in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Jakobi Meyers, the team’s leading receiver is back, too. Byrd should give the lowly Bears the boost they need, but New England simply had to up the ante.

Agholor and Bourne profile as bigger and more experienced versions of Byrd. They may not have Byrd’s speed, but both have been more successful from a pass-catching standpoint.

Yes, Byrd’s breakout was encouraging, but bringing in Agholor and Bourne gives the wide receiving corps more size and pedigree. After what we saw from the Patriots last year, any and every upgrade was needed. Aside from the interior offensive line, all the other roles needed some sort of a fix.

Though Byrd only signed a one-year deal — again, the Patriots could have done that, but their ample cap space allowed them to do more — it’s at least nice to see his success in Foxborough opened another team’s eyes.

They helped one another out. The Patriots realized giving Newton two more skilled and mature versions of Byrd could help elevate the offense in an upcoming campaign that will have playoff-or-bust aspirations.