Patriots made entire NFL look stupid with Kendrick Bourne signing
New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne isn’t exactly lighting the NFL on fire, but he’s providing contributions hardly anybody expected of him in 2021.
When Bill Belichick went on the franchise’s largest ever spending spree, Bourne was one of the purchases, and the former San Francisco 49ers receiver eventually agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract. That’s $5 million per year and his cap hits never exceed $6.2 million.
Though Nelson Agholor’s deal appears to be a whiff, Bourne has made up for it with a career season. He’s hauled in 52 catches for 776 yards and five touchdowns with a 78.8% catch rate and 14.9 yards per reception, all of which are bests for the 26-year-old.
What’s even more impressive is that he’s achieved these marks in a run-first offense with a number of other key targets in the passing game, such as Hunter Henry and Jakobi Meyers (don’t forget Jonnu Smith was expected to play a much bigger role, too). He’s only 20 yards behind Meyers despite starting in 10 fewer games.
The Patriots signing Kendrick Bourne was arguably the steal of the offseason.
And forget about the stats … this guy got an endorsement from Patriots legend Julian Edelman (!) on top of being praised by a number of his teammates for bringing the energy each and every practice and game. That’s all you need to be an asset in New England.
Bourne collected $500K in incentives with his performance against the Jaguars, reaching milestones of 50 receptions ($250K) and 700 yards ($250K). More could be on the way, as he needs just 24 yards for another $250K (800-yard benchmark) and a more difficult eight receptions to hit 60 (another $250K).
Happy to cough up the extra dough for productive play, right?!
Factor in another $1 million, and that’s still just $6 million on the year during an offseason that saw the Giants ink Kenny Golladay to a $72 million deal (he has zero touchdowns in 2021), the Jets bring in Corey Davis for $37.5 million, the Washington Football Team dish out $34.5 million for Curtis Samuel, the Bears pay the franchise tag price for Allen Robinson, the division-rival Dolphins give Will Fuller nearly $11 million for one year, and the Titans trade for Julio Jones’ ridiculous contract. Bourne has better numbers than all of them (for various reasons).
The former Eastern Washington star has proven this year he can be a deep threat and a reliable possession receiver, which is helping Mac Jones develop each and every week. The Patriots have a solid room right now with Bourne, Meyers and Agholor (not even going to count N’Keal Harry here). If they can get a true No. 1 option this coming offseason, this offense will be universally feared.
But don’t forget it all started with Belichick plucking Bourne out of San Francisco where he was underutilized and underappreciated.