Patriots’ wide receiver Kendrick Bourne proves worth to team
In the Patriots’ week 16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne proved his worth to the team after being underused all season. It seemed like Bourne was placed in this weird doghouse earlier in the season. He never seemed to make the impact on the offense like he did last year in his first season with New England.
In fact, he was unable to hit five receptions in a game until December 12th against the Cardinals. However, in week 16 against the Bengals, Bourne was able to prove to the offensive staff and his teammates the kind of value he brings and why he should be a key piece of the offense in the future.
Against Cincy, Bourne caught six passes for 100 yards and a touchdown, which are high marks in each category for the season. He also added 29 yards on a rushing attempt, so in total, Bourne had seven touches for 129 yards and a touchdown.
In the first half, the Patriots’ offense was nonexistent, but their ability to claw back into the game in the second half was largely due to Bourne, who was easily the best player for New England on Saturday afternoon.
Before the 2021 season, he signed a three year, $15 million contract with the Patriots, and I think he certainly surpassed that contract last year, and his performance today should show that he’s not only outperforming his contract, but should remain a key piece of the offense going forward and should be seen as part of the solution for that side of the ball.
Heading into the 2023 season, the Patriots’ wide receiver room should feature Jakobi Meyers, a key piece to re-sign, Kendrick Bourne, who’d have one year left on his contract, Tyquan Thornton, and perhaps another needed addition.
In conclusion, Bourne’s weird up and down usage this year was odd to say the least. This mysterious doghouse he was in at the beginning of the season seemed without reason, and even though their playoff hopes and season is just about over, the offense should continue to feature Kendrick Bourne as much as they can.