Bill Belichick’s attempts to flesh out the Patriots wide receiver room without making any serious investments has largely been underwhelming, and potentially has even held back Mac Jones’ development.
One of these disappointments has been Kendrick Bourne, who has yet to live up to his three-year, $15 million deal as he heads into its final season.
Bourne was second on the team in receiving in 2021, and his 55 receptions, 800 yards and 5 touchdowns were outstanding considering he saw just 70 targets.Things fell off in 2022 though, when he finished fourth on the team in receiving with 434 yards on 35 receptions. He was still one of the Pats’ more efficient receiving threats when targeted, but he wasn’t able to get on the field a ton and was fourth among wideouts in snaps.
This was the story of Bourne’s career even before coming to New England too. Showing big potential, flashes of high-efficiency upside, but struggles to stay on the field and hold his position on the depth chart.
Despite shrinking Bourne’s role last year though, the Pats didn’t make any major additions at wide receiver this offseason, signing JuJu Smith-Schuster to replace Jakobi Meyers and otherwise only adding a couple rookies (Kayshon Butte and Demario Douglas).
That speaks to Belichick having some faith in a bounce-back for Bourne, and with so little competition on the depth chart the 28-year-old will have every chance to prove himself in a contract season.