The New England Patriots have a big offseason ahead.
Between addressing their laundry list of free agents, furthering Mac Jones’ development and finding a way to create more cap space to round out the roster, Bill Belichick won’t be taking a long vacation.
The obsessive head coach likely wouldn’t do so anyway, but surely he realizes his roster is extremely close to becoming a problem for the AFC.
It goes without saying, but wide receiver is (still) a position that needs tinkering. At the moment, it’s safe to assume that N’Keal Harry won’t be back. What about Nelson Agholor, who could save the Patriots nearly $5 million if he were to be cut? Can we say with any certainty that he’ll be back?
Probably not. In fact, Kendrick Bourne is the the only wideout we feel confident saying will be back in a Patriots uniform.
The 26-year-old quickly established himself as a fan favorite in his first year with the team and his end-of-season Instagram message proves there’s a lot more to come from him in 2022.
Patriots fans will love Kendrick Bourne’s message on Instagram.
Has Bourne put a foot wrong since he signed with New England? He had a rough game in the win over the Chargers in Week 8 when he dropped a touchdown and lost a fumble. Other than that, though, he was a home run signing.
For the season, Bourne finished second on the team in catches (55), receiving yards (800) and touchdowns (five). Each of those marked or tied career-highs, as he scored five TDs with San Francisco back in 2019.
The fact Bourne isn’t satisfied after posting the best season of his career proves he fits perfectly with the Patriots’ culture, but we already knew that, right? Between his bruising style of play, vibrant personality and willingness to hold the team accountable, he seems like he was built in a Belichick lab.
As if Patriots fans needed another reason to endorse the Bourne signing, he was the lone positive in what was otherwise a black eye on the franchise in the blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills on Wild Card Weekend.
Just look at this determination while trailing by 30 points.
In a game where the Patriots were completely outmatched, Bourne looked like the only player who was up for the challenge. When the dust settled, he led the team with seven catches for 77 yards and the offense’s only two touchdowns. Sure, most of that came in garbage time, but Bourne never stopped fighting.
If not for Matt Judon, who admittedly fell off down the stretch of the regular season, Bourne would easily be regarded as Belichick’s best signing from last offseason. He’s found a home in New England and all signs point to him being a focal point of the offense in 2022.