Patriots Rumors: Ex-49ers WR Kendrick Bourne Agrees to 3-Year, $22.5M Contract

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 15, 2021

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The New England Patriots, who have already gone on a shopping spree at the start of the legal tampering period, are making another move to beef up their receiving corps.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal with New England. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN previously reported the 25-year-old had "multiple offers" in free agency. 

The Patriots have reportedly made a number of moves already, with linebacker Matt Judon, defensive back Jalen Mills, defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, offensive tackle Trent Brown and tight end Jonnu Smith said to be headed to New England. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Patriots also signed former Las Vegas Raiders wideout Nelson Agholor to a two-year, $26 million deal.

Through four seasons with San Francisco, where he ended up after going undrafted out of Eastern Washington, Bourne has been a consistent presence on offense but never broke through as a starter. His best season came in 2020, when he appeared in 15 games—making five starts—with 667 yards and two scores on a career-high 49 receptions, with a personal-best 74 targets.

A year earlier, he posted a career-high five touchdowns but just 358 yards on 30 receptions through 16 games. 

He may find the opportunity to grab a starting spot in New England, where a wide receiver group was marred by the loss of its leading wideout from 2019, Julian Edelman, to injury.

Jakobi Meyers was the team's most productive receiver with 729 yards, though he never found the end zone. Damiere Byrd was responsible for 604 yards and a score, but he is also a free agent this offseason. 

Edelman, Meyers, Marqise Lee and Gunner Olszewski also return at the position, though a rumored contract for Bourne may mean Byrd is on his way out. 

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, quarterback Cam Newton is coming back for a second year after leading the Patriots to their worst record since 2000 and their first missed postseason since 2008 in a career-worst passing season for the former Carolina Panthers star. 

New England seems to be doing its due diligence so far this offseason, and the addition of Bourne seems like an opportunity for the player himself to break out.

At the very least, he would slot in as a strong backup to a healthy Edelman and more experienced Meyers as New England attempts to climb back into the upper echelon of the NFL.