Pending Patriots free agent makes it known he wants to return to New England

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots
Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

The Patriots are set to have 26 players head to free agency at the end of the season, and although there are plenty of teams with a longer list, New England has top contributors who will be testing the market this offseason, several of which are critical to re-sign.

One of those players is Kendrick Bourne, who arrived in Foxboro during Bill Belichick's spending spree two years ago. The receiver had the best season of his career in 2021 and was on the path to breaking that this year before unfortunately suffering a torn ACL in Week 8 against the Dolphins.

He was just 28 yards shy of his total receiving yards for the 2022 season and had already recorded four touchdowns before his injury. Bourne surely would have become the WR1 this season had it not happened and likely would have set career highs in nearly every measurable statistic, making it more imperative the Patriots re-sign him this offseason.

Some fans don't believe he should be a priority, not just due to his injury but because he's not the "game-changing receiver" many have been begging for. Although that may be true, Bourne has proven to be an asset on this team over the last three seasons and can be productive no matter who the quarterback is. That will become more important if the Patriots choose to draft a new signal caller in just a few months.

The good thing is that Bourne seems to be interested, at least according to his latest social media activity. He posted a photo to his Instagram page earlier this week with a caption reflecting on all that 2023 brought him. But it was a reply to a comment left by Demario Douglas that caught people's attention.

Douglas responded to the most, saying, “Miss you brudda,” to which Bourne replied, "Miss ya dog! Make the @patriots bring me back! 👀”.

Considering the ups and downs he has faced during his time with the team, especially last season with Matt Patricia, it's a good sign that he's interested in returning. The Patriots should take advantage of that and re-sign him, as his talent and attitude have paid off for the team.

If they want to make a solid offense for the 2024 season, Bourne should be on the short list of players to sign.

Read more from Musket Fire: