Kendrick Bourne is back in trade rumors, but after a disappointing 2022 season, the veteran wide receiver may have improved his standing within the organization.
Teams have called the Patriots on Bourne, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, but they have informed interested parties he is not available. Bourne is expected to go into this season as New England’s No. 3 wideout behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker. One season remains on Bourne’s Pats contract.
A different story may be developing around Nick Folk. The veteran kicker looks to be available, with the Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi noting the team is taking calls. The Pats have used Folk as their primary kicker since acquiring him in 2020, having agreed to multiple contracts with the longtime specialist. But New England also used a fourth-round pick on a kicker (Chad Ryland) in April.
The possibility has been raised throughout the offseason of the Patriots keeping both Folk and Ryland on the active roster, but such a move is rare. The former would quickly find a new home if he were to be let go, but there is always risk involved with waiving rookies – especially those selected as high as the latter – during cutdown season. Dealing Folk would represent a sign of confidence in Ryland regarding his ability to continue the success the veteran has enjoyed during his time in New England.
Folk, 38, has converted 108 of 121 field goals (good for a success rate of 89.3%) with the Patriots, including 12 of 17 attempts from beyond 50 yards. One year remains on his contract at a cap hit of $2.79MM; New England would see $2.2MM in savings by cutting or trading him. Several teams are in need of a kicker at the moment, either to immediately operate on a full-time basis or to at least fill in as a known commodity to start the campaign. That should give the Patriots a few options to choose from if they do elect to move Folk.