The New England Patriots spent tons of money to give the offense some more teeth, and two of their biggest additions came at the wide receiver position, as Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne were stolen away from the Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.
Agholor had his best season in the pros last year, recording just under 900 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, while Bourne tallied a career-high 667 yards during his final season in San Francisco.
After the likes of Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd and N’Keal Harry failed to do much as Cam Newton’s top receivers, Bill Belichick splashed the cash on these two.
This passing game will likely revolve around the tight ends. Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry also made the trip to New England, but that doesn’t mean Agholor and Bourne will be complete afterthoughts.
In fact, they could end up being the X-factors that this team needs to finally become stars.
Based on what Meyers has had to say about their desire to continuously improve and make a name for themselves with New England, it sounds like the pair are working to hone their skills in preparation for a pivotal season.
"“They’re family already,” Meyers said. “I love having them around, just the energy they bring and how hard they work. Like, they’re definitely two guys who you can tell they want to be the best at what they do.”"
The Patriots will be more explosive with Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
Agholor and Bourne have the tools to be successful together in New England because of how complementary they are. While Bourne made his name in a Kyle Shanahan offense that requires excellent route-running and sure hands, Agholor’s one year with the Raiders (and his breakout campaign with the Eagles) proved he can be a viable deep threat.
There’s much more to being a deep threat than just timing well in the 40-yard dash, and there’s more to being a great underneath receiver than just having good hands. With these two specialists in town, the Patriots should be able to open up more of the playbook, which will benefit Newton and Mac Jones, depending on who’s under center.
Picking up Josh McDaniels’ system isn’t easy, but it appears as if the two new additions have already drawn some rave reviews with their dedication and work ethic. If they can keep this up when the season rolls around, memories of a passing game that could barely go downfield at all in 2020 would become a thing of the past.