Per multiple sources, the New England Patriots have received calls about a potential Kendrick Bourne trade. The 27-year-old wideout led New England in receiving yards in 2021 but has played on only 28.5% of offensive snaps. And with the November 1st trade deadline looming, there are clear pros and cons to the Patriots dealing Bourne.
Pros and Cons of the New England Patriots Trading Kendrick Bourne
Sitting at 3-4, last, in the AFC East, their decision to sell at the deadline becomes increasingly more likely. The old NFL adage of “good teams buy, and bad teams sell” gives New England a ready excuse to deal Bourne. And with the number of potential trade partners continuing to inquire about Bourne, it makes perfect sense for the Patriots to make a deal.
Under Utilized, Tradable Contract
With Bourne’s snap count where it is, the Patriots trading him likely would not alter their offense in any significant way. By offloading Bourne before the deadline, the snap count for a healthy Tyquan Thornton, Nelson Agholor, and Jakobi Meyers would increase. Moreover, Bourne’s 5 million dollar contract makes him a desirable trade target for opposing teams, perhaps resulting in the Patriots receiving better draft/player compensation.
Developing Tyquan Thornton
With the Patriots’ receiver room as packed as is, seeing the departure of a wideout would allow for more snaps all around. Notably, it would allow the rookie second-rounder Thornton to get more playing time. In only his second game returning from a collarbone injury, Thornton combined for two touchdowns on four receptions and 53 total yards. If the rookie speedster gets more snaps, he could eclipse Bourne’s production. Especially in an offense that continues to push the ball down the field.
Building On The 2022 Draft
If the Patriots were to receive even modest draft compensation (perhaps a third-round plus day-three draft pick) in return for Bourne, they could continue to stack impressive drafts. In 2022 alone, the Patriots drafted Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, and Bailey Zappe in the third round or later, all of whom have started this season. While also clearing some cap room, the Patriots could potentially add picks in 2023 with a Kendrick Bourne trade and continue to build their young core.
Cons To A Kendrick Bourne Trade
The NFL this season has been an unusual one. Teams we expected to boom have busted, and teams we thought would bust have boomed. For that reason, holding on to a valuable asset like Bourne could serve the Patriots in a topsy-turvy 2022 season. The Patriots may need a player like Bourne to give them a spark in hopes of competing for a playoff spot or making a run at an AFC Championship game. With how the season has played out, who knows?
Lack Of Receiver Depth
Depth is a double-edged sword. It would be good for the Patriots’ receivers to get more ample playing time. But, should an injury occur, New England could be shorthanded. With how often players are injured in today’s NFL, having too much depth is not the worst problem in the world. If traded, a banged-up receiver room in Foxboro could dearly miss a player like Bourne and suffer as a result.
Admitting Defeat On A 2021 Signing
The Patriots spent the most money in franchise history in the summer of 2021. But not all signings have worked out perfectly. From Smith’s underperforming to Agholor’s inconsistency, the Patriots’ bevy of signings has not been ideal. Trading Bourne would put salt in the wound of a shakey free agency class and cause many to question Belichick’s front-office decisions.
Lose Out On Explosiveness
Bourne led the Patriots in both yards after the catch and receiving yards last season. That stat alone shows how explosive Bourne was in 2021. When the Patriots got him the ball, he made things happen on an otherwise very “vanilla” offense. Without Bourne, the Patriots are less dynamic in the middle of the field, limiting their offense. Teams like the Miami Dolphins with Tyreek Hill can rely on him to make things happen, regardless of scheme. And with a Patriots offense run by a coordinator who has never coached offense, having a do-it-all player is invaluable.
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