Grading WR Kendrick Bourne’s deal with the New England Patriots: B

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Mark Schofield
·2 min read
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Please Bill please. I’m just trying to eat dinner. Save some moves for tomorrow.

It seems, however, that Bill Belichick is not going to listen to me, as the New England Patriots continue their spending spree as the NFL’s legal tampering period kicks off. Having already reached deals with players such as Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor on the offensive side of the football, the Patriots dipped into the skill position group again on Monday, reaching an agreement with wide receiver Kendrick Bourne:

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Bourne is an athletic receiver who checks one of the Patriots’ biggest boxes when it comes to evaluating the position: Change-of-direction skills. He posted a three-cone time of 6.73 seconds back in 2017 at the Scouting Combine, and over the years New England has often targeted players with good times in that drill, as they measure a player’s ability to quickly change directions. In their offense, with so many option routes, that skill is a prerequisite to playing the position.

Like many of their signings, Bourne is coming off his best season as a pro. He was targeted 74 times in the passing game, catching 49 passes for 667 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Every statistic there but for the touchdown receptions represents a career-high mark for Bourne.

In the discussion of Nelson Agholor’s deal, it was pointed out that the Patriots might have a glut of players who operate out of the slot. While Bourne’s change-of-direction skills might also peg him for that alignment, his size and ability against press coverage might give him the chance to play on the outside, even as the X receiver in some of New England’s packages. So while the Agholor signing might have been a reach, this move by the Patriots seems like a smarter investment.

Plus, now all of New England media gets to make reference to Jason Bourne and the Bourne movies, so there’s that.

Now, now I’m going to eat dinner.