Report: Patriots telling teams Kendrick Bourne not available for trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The New England Patriots have a lot of wide receivers who could make their 53-man roster ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.
One decision that appears to have already been made is keeping Kendrick Bourne.
Teams around the NFL have called the Patriots to inquire about the veteran wideout, per The Athletic's Jeff Howe, but New England is telling those clubs that he's not available.
The Patriots have gotten calls about WR Kendrick Bourne, but they’ve told teams he’s not available, per sources. @TheAthletic
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 29, 2023
Bourne had a strong debut season for the Patriots in 2021, and then he saw his usage drop fairly significantly in 2022 when Matt Patricia was running the offense.
If this year's training camp and the preseason are any indication, Bourne figures to be a very valuable part of Bill O'Brien's offense this coming season. In fact, a strong case could be made that Bourne is New England's No. 1 wide receiver entering the regular season.
The Patriots also need to keep a dependable veteran like Bourne because there's so much uncertainty surrounding other players at that position.
JuJu Smith-Schuster's knee is a question mark. Tyquan Thornton is currently dealing with a shoulder injury. Mike Gesicki suffered an injury a few weeks ago but has since returned to practice. DeVante Parker has missed plenty of games in his career with injuries. Rookies Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte have potential, but they obviously have zero pro experience.
Bourne is one of the few guys on the Patriots' wide receiver depth chart who you can really rely on if he's involved in the offense. So unless the Patriots are blown away by an offer from another team, it makes little sense to trade him right now.