Kendrick Bourne

Latest On Patriots’ WR Pursuit

Following their failed pursuit of Calvin Ridley, the Patriots continue to be on the lookout for wide receivers. While speaking with reporters today, de facto general manager Eliot Wolf acknowledged that the team still had a need for an outside receiver (per Evan Lazar of the team website).

The Patriots moved on from DeVante Parker earlier this offseason and replaced him with K.J. Osborn, who Lazar profiles as more of a “complementary piece.” Further, Osborn is a better fit for the Z/slot role, a job that would also be ideal for the team’s other top wide receivers: Kendrick Bourne and Demario Douglas. While the team is still rostering the likes of Tyquan Thornton and Kayshon Boutte (along with veterans like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Jalen Reagor), it makes sense that the Patriots would be pursuing a speedster for their offense.

As a result, the Patriots have been mentioned as a popular landing spot for any of the veteran WRs that could shake loose, a grouping that includes the likes of Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins. While Wolf wouldn’t give any specifics, he did acknowledge that the team is pursuing multiple paths as they look to add to the position.

“We’ve had conversations with teams about different scenarios,” Wolf said. “Not just at receiver but at other positions. That’s definitely something that we’d be open to.”

The team was aggressive in their pursuit of Ridley, but the Patriots ended up losing the sweepstakes to the Titans. Robert Kraft previously said the team didn’t lose out on Ridley because of financials. Instead, the owner gave a variety of reasons for not adding the receiver, including taxes, the quarterbacks situation, and the WR’s girlfriend. However, Wolf seemed to acknowledge that it was indeed money that led to the Patriots losing out on the free agent wideout.

“Another team offered more money [for Ridley] would be the main thing,” Wolf said.

The Patriots could have their pick of the top WR prospects with the number-three pick, a grouping that’s led by Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers, and Washington’s Rome Odunze. However, since the team is expected to take a QB with their first-round pick, Lazar points to a number of later-round receivers like Adonai Mitchell, Keon Coleman, Ladd McConkey, Devontez Walker, and Brenden Rice.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bills, Fangio

Even though the Patriots re-signed Kendrick Bourne, their failed pursuit of Calvin Ridley leaves a void at receiver. Robert Kraft certainly believes the team made a viable offer but cited an interesting reason for the former first-round pick choosing the Titans.

It was not because of finance. Clearly, his girlfriend wanted to be in the South,” Kraft said (via the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed) of Ridley, referring to the wide receiver’s wife. “We had a situation where the taxes were, like, almost 10% higher. We offered — we were willing to keep going at that premium. But he didn’t want to be in the Northeast. And part of it might be the quarterback situation as well.”

The Pats and Jaguars were believed to be battling for Ridley, but the Titans came in with a monster offer. Tennessee gave Ridley a whopping $46.98MM guaranteed at signing — third among all wide receivers. That number will jump to $50MM if he is on Tennessee’s roster on Day 5 of the 2025 league year. The Patriots have faced criticism for their free agency route, after Jerod Mayo said the team was planning to be more aggressive. Much of the Pats’ moves have involved re-signings. The Pats have a big decision to make at No. 3 overall, and trade-down rumors are emerging. If they do draft a passer third, the WR need will be glaring — unless a rumored Pats trade effort produces a deal — on Day 2 of the draft.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Michael Onwenu joined the host of guards who received big paydays this month, but the Patriots are not planning to return him to his primary rookie-contract position. New England is planning to station Onwenu where he played much of last season. After re-signing the former sixth-round pick on a three-year, $57MM deal, the Pats are keeping him at right tackle,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Onwenu appears comfortable with this plan, per the Boston Sports Journal’s Mike Giardi. The Pats used Onwenu at guard during the 2021 and ’22 seasons, but after injury issues at right tackle last season, Bill Belichick moved him back to that position — where he spent time during his rookie campaign. While left tackle remains an issue post-Trent Brown, the Onwenu deal solidifies the team’s RT job.
  • Bills GM Brandon Beane does not expect Micah Hyde to retire, and despite the team having re-signed Taylor Rapp and brought Mike Edwards over from the Chiefs, Hyde could remain in the picture. Beane is not ruling out a re-signing,’s Alaina Getzenberg notes. Hyde played out a third Bills contract and joins a few other accomplished safeties on the market — Justin Simmons, Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs among them. While GMs often indicate interest in re-signing a player at a lower rate exists, the Bills did follow through on this by bringing back Jordan Poyer at a lower cost (two years, $12.5MM) in 2023. Buffalo disbanded the Hyde-Poyer tandem by cutting the latter this month.
  • Oregon wide receiver Troy Franklin has a workout scheduled with the Bills, per’s Tony Pauline. The No. 43 overall prospect on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board, Franklin has four “30” visits scheduled as well. Working with first-round QB prospect Bo Nix, Franklin posted 1,383 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Franklin was sick during Combine week, Pauline adds, noting he weighed in seven pounds heavier (183) at his pro day.
  • Mike McDaniel confirmed the Dolphins did not have the intention of moving on from Vic Fangio after one season, but the third-year HC indicated (via’s Adam Beasley) a few one-on-one conversations led to an understanding it would be best for the sides to part ways. Fangio quickly agreed to terms with the Eagles, which came after players heard rumblings the accomplished DC was eyeing a move back to Philadelphia during last season.
  • Bourne’s three-year, $19.5MM Patriots contract includes $5.5MM guaranteed, and KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets the veteran wide receiver can guarantee $2.5MM of his $5.5MM 2025 base salary by eclipsing 800 receiving yards this season. Bourne, who is coming off a torn ACL, has one 800-yard season in six years; he posted exacted 800 in 2021.

Patriots Submit Offer To WR Calvin Ridley

The Patriots’ reported interest in receiver Calvin Ridley is very real. According to Josina Anderson, the Patriots have made an offer to the free agent wideout.

[RELATED: Patriots Pursuing Calvin Ridley]

The organization is also opting to “keep a deal on the table” following today’s reports that focused on the interesting logistics of the previous Jaguars/Falcons trade. If Jacksonville re-signs Ridley before 2pm tomorrow, they’ll owe Atlanta a second-round pick. If they wait beyond that deadline and re-sign the receiver, the Jaguars would only owe the Falcons a third-round pick.

This led some pundits to believe that Ridley was destined to return to Jacksonville and was simply biding his time to provide his organization with better draft capital. However, it sounds like the Patriots are still very much in the hunt, and it’ll be interesting to see how negotiations progress over the next 24 hours.

New England holds more than $80MM in cap space, and with Ridley sitting atop the WR market, it only made sense that the Patriots would target the free agent for their new-look offense. The team moved on from Mac Jones and added veteran Jacoby Brissett, and the organization appears to be leaning towards selecting a QB with the third-overall pick. Ridley would represent an intriguing target for whoever is under center for the Patriots in 2024 and beyond.

The Patriots’ receivers struggled in 2023, although that was partly due to the team’s inconsistent play at quarterback. The team has already moved on from DeVante Parker and is looking to unload JuJu Smith-Schuster, leaving plenty of question marks atop the depth chart. The team did agree to new deals with Kendrick Bourne and Jalen Reagor, but the rest of their depth chart features unproven options like Demario Douglas, Tyquan Thornton, and Kayshon Boutte.

Patriots Pursuing Calvin Ridley; Jaguars Still Aiming To Retain WR

MARCH 12: The Pats and Jags continue to pursue Ridley, according to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, who notes sources around the league point to a darkhorse team being in this mix. Another deep wideout draft class is likely affecting this year’s receiver market as well, though Darnell Mooney fetched a nice haul from the Falcons earlier today.

The Jags still being in this pursuit is interesting, with the team locking in Gabe Davis on Monday. Ridley coming back alongside Davis would point to the Jags, who also have Christian Kirk and Zay Jones under contract, changing up their current WR group.

MARCH 10: Wide receiver changes are expected in New England. After the team’s JuJu Smith-Schuster signing did not produce much of consequence last year, a bigger swing is anticipated once the legal tampering period begins Monday.

The Patriots are expected to pursue Calvin Ridley in free agency,’s Jeremy Fowler notes. The cap-rich team is not known for big free agency spending, save for a few instances (largely 2021), but new faces are running the show. The Eliot Wolf-led operation appears to be aiming for a big upgrade around a to-be-determined starting quarterback.

[RELATED: 2024 Top 50 NFL Free Agents]

Jacksonville is expected to try and retain Ridley, but due to the structure of the trade with Atlanta in 2022, a pre-free agency strike has not been expected. If the Jaguars re-sign Ridley after he hits free agency, they will only owe the Falcons their 2024 third-round pick. If a deal becomes official before Ridley hits the market, Jacksonville owes Atlanta its second-rounder. The team already sent the Falcons a 2022 fifth in this two-pick trade.

With Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr.. tagged and Mike Evans re-signing with the Buccaneers, Ridley looks to be the top free agent wideout available. The Patriots hold more than $82MM in cap space; only the Commanders are carrying more into the tampering period. New England re-signed Hunter Henry late this week, but its pass-catching corps still features questions.

The Pats gave Smith-Schuster a three-year, $25.5MM deal that included $16MM fully guaranteed. His $7MM base salary for 2024 is locked in. DeVante Parker, however, may be less likely to be on the 2024 Patriots. The team is expected to try to unload Parker’s contract in a trade, according to’s Karen Guregian, Chris Mason and Mark Daniels. It would save the Pats just more than $3MM by trading Parker, who has two seasons left on the extension he signed last year. The former Dolphins first-round pick has $3.1MM remaining in guarantees on that summer 2023 re-up.

While last year did not feature a good receiver environment in New England, Parker totaled only 394 receiving yards — third-most among Pats wideouts. Smith-Schuster managed just 260 in an injury-shortened season. Despite playing in only eight games, Kendrick Bourne finished with 406 receiving yards and four TDs. The Patriots are not closing the door on keeping Bourne on a second contract.

Bourne and the Pats are still talking, per CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson, who indicates the sides have not found an acceptable middle ground. Bourne, 28, is coming off an ACL tear. That said, the ex-49er appeared back in the team’s good graces after residing in the doghouse during a 2022 season in which he came up in trade rumors. Bourne, who totaled 800 receiving yards in Mac Jones‘ rookie season, played out a three-year, $15MM deal.

Patriots To Re-Sign WR Kendrick Bourne

Despite coming off an ACL tear, Kendrick Bourne has a deal in place before free agency. The Patriots still have the veteran wide receiver in their plans, agreeing to terms on a three-year deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Bourne, 28, has impressed in spurts with the Patriots; although his first contract produced an inconsistent tenure, the team still values the former 49er. The deal could pay up to $33MM. It is likely incentives comprise a sizable part of that number. Indeed, the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan reports Bourne is staying with the Pats for $19.5MM. Although it is not known how much of the deal is guaranteed, Callahan adds Bourne will receive a $4.2MM signing bonus.

It is a bit interesting Bourne’s October ACL tear did not result in a one-year deal — potentially so he could reset his market for 2025. Bourne signed a three-year, $15MM deal with the Patriots in 2021, and he has another three-year pact in place to build on what he accomplished. Bourne will be playing for a fourth Pats OC in four years, with Alex Van Pelt taking over. Even with this turnover, the organization continues to prioritize Bourne.

[RELATED: Patriots Re-Sign TE Hunter Henry]

As of late February, Bourne had not engaged in talks with the Pats. But the sides huddled up recently and hammered out a deal. The Pats had wanted to bring back Bourne and Henry; they accomplished both goals without needing to compete with other suitors on the open market. Henry fetched a bigger contract, but that should not surprise given this year’s tight end market and Bourne’s injury. Still, this represents a decent consolation prize for Bourne, who was playing well before his knee setback.

Known as a solid blocker in San Francisco, Bourne totaled 800 receiving yards in his first Patriots season. The Pats’ offense deteriorated swiftly after Josh McDaniels‘ 2022 exit, and Bourne appeared to fall out of favor with the team later that year. Bourne came up in trade rumors at each of the past two deadlines, as the Patriots tumbled into the rare position of potential seller. The team did not bite, keeping the likes of Kyle Dugger, Michael Onwenu and Josh Uche. The latter two are on track for free agency, but Dugger received the transition tag this week.

The Patriots still appear to be hunting for a bigger name to anchor their receiving corps. They are expected to pursue Calvin Ridley, who joins Marquise Brown and Gabriel Davis as the top WRs available following the tags of Tee Higgins and Michael Pittman Jr. and Mike Evans‘ re-signing. The Pats signed JuJu Smith-Schuster for $16MM guaranteed last year, making it less likely he is moved this offseason. DeVante Parker, however, may be jettisoned via trade or release. But Bourne, who averaged a career-high 50.8 yards per game during a four-TD 2023 season, is staying put as a likely auxiliary weapon.

Patriots Could Pursue Veteran T Tyron Smith

With the seeming end to veteran offensive tackle Tyron Smith‘s time in Dallas, the 33-year-old is expected to hit the free agent market for the first time in his long career. One team expected to push for his services is the Patriots, according to Mark Daniels of MassLive.

With both of last year’s starting offensive tackles, Trent Brown and Michael Onwenu, bound for free agency, the position has become an immediate need. Pursuing a 13-year veteran who hasn’t played every game of a season since 2015 may not seem like the ideal solution to a pressing need, but with the options available in free agency, a short-term solution like Smith may be just what the doctor ordered.

This year’s free agent class won’t be especially strong in the offensive tackle position. Cincinnati’s Jonah Williams or Washington’s Charles Leno probably rival Smith for the top options available. Williams may draw the most interest of the three, since he’s only 26 years old, but he graded out much worse than Smith and Leno, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Smith, on the other hand, graded out as the fourth-best tackle in the league last year and earned second-team All-Pro honors.

Daniels pointed out two other players as focuses for New England, as well, these being players in the building set to depart in free agency. Daniels reported that the Patriots are interested in trying to bring back both tight end Hunter Henry and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Henry and Bourne finished second and third on the team in receiving yards with 419 and 406, respectively, both behind rookie sixth-round pick Demario Douglas. One area in which they both outperformed the rookie was in the endzone. While Douglas failed to register a score in his first NFL season, Henry led the team with six touchdowns and Bourne was close behind with four.

While the team has hopes to extend both players, it sounds like landing either would be a long shot. Daniels reports that Henry and the team “are far apart on an extension,” while the Patriots and Bourne “aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on his market value.” Both players are sure to draw interest from around the league, so if New England isn’t willing to give up some ground, it could lose both Henry and Bourne.

Patriots, WR Kendrick Bourne Have Not Held Contract Talks

Regardless of who will be under center for the Patriots in 2024, improvement in the passing game will be needed. New pass-catchers will no doubt be a priority for the team, but Kendrick Bourne is one of the incumbent options who could be retained on a new deal.

Bourne is a pending free agent after playing out the three-year, $15MM contract he signed in 2021. That deal came after his four-year tenure with the 49ers, though it did not entirely go according to plan. The former UDFA saw a downturn in playing time during the 2022 season after posting a career-high 55-800-5 statline the year before. Bourne’s third New England campaign came to an abrupt end in October due to an ACL tear.

The 28-year-old is on track to be ready for Week 1 of the the 2024 season, one which he hopes will allow him to continue his time with the Patriots. However, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that “no substantial” talks have taken place on a new contract to date. As a result, Bourne is on track to reach the open market once the new league year begins in March.

Given his injury and modest receiving totals for two of his New England campaigns, the Eastern Washington product could be hard-pressed to land a lucrative deal from an outside suitor. More accomplished wideouts like Michael Pittman Jr., Mike Evans and Calvin Ridley are among the headlining members of the 2024 free agent class, and Bourne would check in as a member of a lower tier for available options on the market. Looking to take a step forward in passing efficiency, the Patriots could also elect to turn elsewhere at the WR position this offseason.

New England already has veterans JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker on the books for the next two years. The team also has Demario Douglas and Tyquan Thornton as recent draftees set to hold a receiving role in 2024 and beyond. A big-money addition in free agency will be possible given the Patriots’ cap situation, though the team has a number of other roster holes which need to be addressed this offseason. As things stand, Bourne could be headed to a new environment relatively soon, but there is still time for his desire to work out a new contract to be reciprocated.

Patriots Notes: Bourne, Front Office, Brown

Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne tore his ACL at the end of October, an injury that had especially poor timing considering his impending free agent. However, the wideout has made it clear that he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery, and he’s eyeing a return to New England in 2024.

Speaking to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the receiver said he’s expecting to be ready for the start of next season. Bourne also discussed his upcoming unrestricted free agency, with the veteran stating his desire to stick with the Patriots.

“I want to come back [to New England],” Bourne said. “That is a goal of mine. I love being a Patriot — it’s a great environment for a person like me. Being a Patriot helped me grow into the player I am today. I’m thankful for the organization, but you never know. I’ve been in free agency before and I didn’t know what would happen. And I don’t know now.”

After spending the first four seasons of his career with the 49ers, Bourne inked a three-year deal worth up to $22.5MM with the Patriots. The wideout had an up-and-down three years in New England. He finished 2021 with career highs in receptions (55), receiving yards (800), and touchdowns (five). He found himself in the doghouse in 2022, but he rebounded in 2023, averaging a career-high 50.8 yards per game prior to his injury.

The wideout now has to navigate both his injury recovery and his impending free agency. Bourne told Reiss that he has a physical therapist living with him, and his current focus is on strengthening his quadriceps and legs in support of his knee.

“I was in the best shape of my life and the knee slowed me down a lot,” Bourne said. “It’s annoying to have someone always on me and bugging me, but I know what I need to get back to where I was when I got hurt. I’m embracing it now.”

More notes out of New England…

  • While it’s uncertain if the Patriots will make a move at general manager, Eliot Wolf is expected to control the 53-man roster for the time being. Reiss has provided a bit more insight, noting Wolf’s ascension is a sign the Patriots are focusing on more of a “Packer-based structure” to their front office. Wolf, the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf, spent more than a decade with Green Bay, and Reiss believes the Patriots are pivoting to a system that values the personnel department’s input vs. the head coach’s final say (a tactic that was impossible with Bill Belichick at the helm). Reiss notes that Wolf was also heavily involved with the head coaching process, and he subsequently worked with Jerod Mayo to fill out the coaching staff.
  • Speaking of the front office, the Patriots have added a familiar face to their operation. According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 in Houston, the Patriots have hired executive Bobby Brown for a front office role. Brown previously served as the Patriots associate director of football administration, but he left for the Texans this past season to work alongside his brother, Andrew Brown.
  • The Patriots continue to add to their coaching staff. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the team has hired Drew Wilkins as their outside linebackers coach. Wilkins spent more than a decade on the Ravens coaching staff, where he worked alongside current Patriots star linebacker Matthew Judon. Wilkins spent the past two seasons as the Giants OLBs coach, but he was let go following New York’s overhaul of the defensive coaching staff.
  • Former Patriots WR Troy Brown has spent the past three seasons as New England’s receivers coach, but with his contract having expired and a new coaching staff in place, his future with the organization is in doubt. Reiss writes that Brown could be one of the few holdovers to stick around in 2024. Alex Van Pelt is now in place as the Patriots offensive coordinator, so there’s a chance the new hire decides to pursue his own WRs coach.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/23

Here are the NFL’s minor moves for today:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed off Bears’ practice squad: DT Travis Bell
  • Placed on IR: DT Grady Jarrett (story)

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kareem, who was just activated off of injured reserve, is being waived to make room for defensive end Montez Sweat, acquired by trade this morning. The Bears also announced a practice squad release, indicating a possible return for Kareem on that unit. The Colts are expected to do the same with Boettger.

O’Connor will lose his active roster spot to make room for quarterback John Wolford, whom Tampa Bay officially promoted today in order to ward off interest parties such as the Rams and Vikings, both of whom are experiencing injury issues at quarterback.

Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne Tears ACL

The Patriots’ receiving corps has been dealt a blow for the rest of the season. Kendrick Bourne has suffered an ACL tear, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

There was initial hope that Bourne had only suffered an MCL injury, as noted by Garafolo’s colleague Ian Rapoport. Instead, the worst-case scenario has now been confirmed by an MRI. The 28-year-old will be sidelined for the remainder of the campaign, something with implications for New England’s passing game but also, potentially, the team’s trade deadline plans.

Bourne had been mentioned as a trade chip in the lead-up to tomorrow’s trade deadline, given his status as a rental. A number of other wideouts have drawn more attention, however, and more recent reports pointed to the Patriots retaining the former UDFA. New England is nevertheless actively seeking out trade partners, and today’s news removes one contributor the team could have moved to attain draft capital from the picture.

After a strong stint with the 49ers as a complementary option in the passing game, Bourne enjoyed a career year in 2021 with 800 yards and five touchdowns. His playing time took a step back the following season, though, leading to questions about his long-term Patriots future. 2023 had seen Bourne take on a larger share of the team’s offense with a 72% snap share, something which yielded an uptick in production. His final statline for the season will sit at 37-406-4.

New England has struggled on offense this season, leading to a fresh round of criticism for quarterback Mac Jones. Part of his inability to take a signficant step forward in Year 3 has been tied to a lack of high-end receiving options, however. Bourne comfortably led the Patriots in receiving yards, and the next-highest WR in that department is sixth-round rookie Demario Douglas. He, along with the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton will need to carry the load moving forward.

With 2023 marking the end of Bourne’s three-year, $15MM Patriots deal, he is set to reach free agency in March. Given the months-long recovery he is now facing, though, his market will no doubt be hindered. In advance of potentially signing elsewhere in the near future, Bourne will turn his attention to rehab while New England will be forced to regroup on offense.