The New England Patriots will have a busy offseason with plenty of tough decisions to make. They likely need to replace several key positions including quarterback and wide receiver. Which direction they choose to go with those decisions will be a key factor in determining the success of the franchise.
But first, they need to make calls about their own free agents. They have 15 free agents, with a couple of key starters in the mix. Which players' departures would hurt the least?
WR Kendrick Bourne
Bourne was having the best season of his career and was the most impactful playmaker in the Patriots' wide receiver corps before tearing his ACL in Week 8. This was not only a major blow for the Pats' season but also for the contract prospects of the 28-year-old.
Now it's hard to see Bourne get a lucrative, multi-year deal. It's likely that he will get a short-term "prove-it" deal. Even though the Pats wouldn't mind bringing him back on an affordable deal, it wouldn't be the worst idea to completely overhaul the offensive personnel this offseason.
Bourne coming off a serious injury and JuJu Smith-Schuster is not the ideal wide receiver duo, especially for a likely rookie quarterback. Instead of using the resources on Bourne, the Pats would be better off trying to take Marvin Harrison Jr. with their third-overall pick in the draft to be their primary offensive weapon or sign a receiver in free agency.