2. Did the Patriots extend the wrong player on offense?
Wide receiver DeVante Parker signed a three-year extension with the team in the offseason that paid him $14 million in guarantees and could be worth up to $33 million. At the time, it was a pretty confusing contract for a declining but still marginally effective player. At this point, should the Patriots have used that money to pay Kendrick Bourne instead, who is a free agent this coming offseason?
Bourne leads the team in receptions, yards, and is tied for the team lead in touchdowns. In fact, Bourne is on pace to catch 80 passes for 870 yards. He's been very effective when targeted, but Parker cannot say the same thing. Parker has caught 13 passes for 136 yards and is on pace to catch 44 passes for 435 yards. Yuck. Parker can be a nice possession receiver for a team looking for a 5th-ish option in their passing game.
However, Kendrick Bourne appears to be a much better version of that. Honestly, with the rebuild coming that will surely include a young QB, Bourne would be a perfect veteran receiver for that young QB. Bourne is productive and clearly still has some juice left. The Patriots can indeed afford to keep Bourne around, but the money they gave to DeVante Parker should have gone to Bourne.