New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne has been surprisingly uninvolved in their offense. Through four contests, Bourne ranks fourth among all Patriots pass catchers in receptions (9) and receiving yards (138). He ranks fifth in overall targets (12). Bourne also lost a fumble this season. Bourne has yet to score his first touchdown despite averaging a healthy 15.3 yards per reception. Bourne may be available for trade as we swiftly approach October’s trade deadline.
Bourne is in year two of a three-year, $15 million contract signed last offseason. Bourne is signed through 2023 while carrying a reasonable cap hit of $4.750 million, via Spotrac. Receiver-needy teams should consider acquiring Bourne at his current price.
Bourne isn’t a part of New England’s offensive game plans on a weekly basis. The Patriots must begin thinking about next season. We’ve identified three potential in-season destinations for Bourne.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Current Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler worked as New England’s director of player personnel when Bourne signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent during the 2021 offseason. Head coach Josh McDaniels served as Bourne’s offensive coordinator last season. Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi was Bourne’s wide receivers position coach last year. The connections here are never-ending.
Bourne enjoyed his best professional campaign under McDaniels’ tutelage last season. Bourne recorded career-highs in receptions (55), receiving yards (800), and touchdowns (5). McDaniels possesses a high-level understanding of how to best utilize Bourne within his offensive system. The two would likely welcome an opportunity to reunite.
The Raiders could use another weapon at receiver opposite Davante Adams. Hunter Renfrow continues to deal with a concussion that’s sidelined him for two consecutive contests. Mack Hollins has performed admirably in the spotlight, but acquiring Bourne would add some much-needed depth. The Raiders make the most sense as a Bourne landing spot.
The Bears own the league’s worst passing offense by a wide margin. The Bears are astoundingly averaging 97.5 passing yards per contest. Bears starting quarterback Justin Fields has attempted 67 passes through four contests. That works out to an average of 16.75 passing attempts per game.
The Bears have clear personnel issues. The talent surrounding Fields at receiver and across the offensive line isn’t sufficient. Chicago’s pass rate of 33% ranks 32nd in the NFL. Acquiring Bourne would provide Fields with another weapon while making the Bears less conservative offensively. Ryan Poles should explore all avenues, including Bourne.
Bears receiver Darnell Mooney is a victim of Chicago’s anemic passing attack. Once considered a breakout candidate, Mooney has recorded just eight receptions for 121 yards. The Bears can get him going by pairing him with another talented receiver that commands attention from opposing secondaries. Bourne wouldn’t solve all of Chicago’s offensive woes, but he could help usher it in the right direction.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The Giants own the league’s second-worst passing attack at 139.5 yards through the air per game. The Giants are also dealing with multiple injuries at the position. Sterling Shepard suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. The expensive headache that is Kenny Golladay suffered an MCL sprain and is expected to be sidelined on a week-to-week basis. Rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson just returned to practice on Wednesday. The Giants could use a reinforcement such as Bourne.
Nobody envisioned the Giants potentially being buyers at the trade deadline. A shocking 3-1 record however provides the East Rutherford faithful with light postseason aspirations. The Giants won’t be willing to forfeit premium draft capital, but Bourne can likely be acquired for a day-three selection (perhaps of the conditional variety).