New Patriots receiver believed to be on path for breakout season in 2024

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

One of the more disappointing aspects of the Patriots' 2024 offseason was their lack of spending in free agency, particularly on some of the most significant positions of need, like wide receiver. The initial hope was to see the $100 million in cap space be spent on obtaining top talent for the offense, only to be let down by what came to fruition instead.

After missing out on Calvin Ridley, who surprisingly chose to sign with the Titans out of nowhere, New England decided to sign former Viking K.J. Osborn. Minnesota had been connected to the Patriots in the weeks leading to free agency, but it was because fans had their eyes set on Justin Jefferson, not Osborn.

Although that may be true, and he's not necessarily the guy people hoped for, the four-year receiver is still a good addition with the likelihood of a breakout season on the way, according to his former quarterback.

Kirk Cousins has all the faith in K.J. Osborn to breakout with the Patriots in 2024

Because of his absolute domination on the field since being drafted in 2020, most of the conversation surrounding productive receivers in the NFC North revolves around Jefferson. That has forced Osborn to take a backseat. But Kirk Cousins believes he is better than what we saw from him during his time in Minnesota.

During a recent appearance on "The Big Podcast with Shaq," the new Falcons' quarterback was asked which of his former teammates he believed was due for a breakout season. Fortunately for the Patriots, he chose their newest receiver, who has already received rave reviews from a character and leadership standpoint.

“Pretty much all of them, but K.J. Osborn is a receiver who was with us in Minnesota and kind of in the shadow of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. And I always felt like K.J. was better than the opportunities he got. He went to free agency and went to New England, and I’d love to see him have a huge year in New England, kind of with a bigger role than what he had in Minnesota, to show what he could do.

“That list would go on and on of guys who, I feel like because they have someone in front of them, don’t get to be as good or show as good as they really are. You want those guys to get opportunities.”

Hearing this from the guy who worked with Osborn since he was drafted is good news for the Patriots, who need all the help they can get offensively next season. Although he's not projected to be the WR1 they desperately need, he's a proven contributor and a solid option for any quarterback to work with, especially if the Patriots choose a rookie signal caller in the draft his month.

During his four seasons in Minnesota (three as a rotational starter), Osborn recorded 158 receptions for 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns; that averages to 52 catches a year for 615 yards and five touchdowns.

It's nothing to get extremely excited about, but the consistency of his contributions should not be undervalued, especially for an offense going through significant changes ahead of the upcoming season. If he can bring that to the Patriots, they'll be in much better shape than just one year ago, even more so alongside guys like Kendrick Bourne and DeMario Douglas.

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