LATEST: Patriots Never Had Substantial’ Talks With Projected $15 Million Free Agent

At this point, it would appear unwise for New England to lose a valuable receiver. While the Patriots’ Kendrick Bourne is not the No. 1 receiver the team requires at this time, he may be a good No. 2 or a fantastic third option. He is entering free agency at an unpredictable time—he tore his ACL in Week 8 against the Dolphins—but has made it clear that he wants to stay with the Patriots.

Kendrick Bourne free agency update not encouraging for Patriots - Pats  Pulpit

The problem is that, with free agency approaching, there have been no “substantial” contract talks as of yet, according to ESPN.com reporter Mike Reiss, who did indicate that Bourne’s rehabilitation is still progressing.

“Receiver Kendrick Bourne was back in Foxborough late last week so theteam could check in on his recovery from a torn right ACL,” Reiss said in a statement on Sunday. “Bourne is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, but sources said there have been no substantial contract extension talks at this time.”

Patriots’ Kendrick Bourne Was Having Career Year Before Injury

Bourne had his best season in his debut year with the Patriots, when he joined after starting off as an undrafted free agent in San Francisco. Bourne had 800 yards and 55 receptions that season and was on his way to maybe surpassing those numbers in 2023. Prior to the injury, he was on track for 853 yards and 79 receptions.

Despite his injuries, Bourne had the second-highest yardage total among all Patriots receivers in 2023.

He spoke with the NFL Network ahead of the Super Bowl, expressing his desire to remain in New England.

“Just rehabbing right now, obviously, you know, I dealt with an injury this year,” he went on to say. “Going into free agency, but from a different perspective. I’ve been through it once before, but I was never injured. Rehab is extremely hard, man, and going in, I’d want to be a Patriot again; I love the organization I’ve been a part of, and they’ve also helped me grow over the last few years.

“Now going through injury, it’s a challenge but I was becoming the player I always wanted to be under the organization.”

‘Hopefully It Can Happen Again Over There’

Bourne should not be too expensive to get back, and his injury may reduce the market for him, but he is anticipated to be ready for the start of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, Bourne is expected to sign a two-year contract worth $14 million.

Spotrac estimates he will earn substantially less, with a contract valued just under $15 million over three years. In any event, the Patriots could afford to bring him back. The team has more than $70 million in cap space entering free agency, which could increase to over $90 million if J.C. Jackson is dismissed as expected.

If they want him back, Bourne is willing to sign. But he’s also prepared for the unexpected.

“Hopefully it can happen again over there but whatever happens I am just working hard to be the player I truly believe I can be, and just help wherever I am just helping, bringing energy, so we’ll see,” Bourne was quoted as saying. “Free agency is just an open book, you never know what’s gonna happen, but I am just excited for the unknown.”

 

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