NFL Writer Includes Patriot Among Top Bargain Signings From 2021 Offseason

Kendrick Bourne is becoming a free agency steal


Jan 6, 2022

The Patriots signed a heap of free agents last offseason and spared no expenses, but New England didn’t break the bank for every new addition.

Some, like Kendrick Bourne, received more modest deals from Bill Belichick and Co. And if Bourne’s 2021 season to date is any indication, the three-year, $15 million deal the wideout signed last March could prove to be a steal.

Bourne’s production with the Patriots coupled with his very reasonable salary earned him a spot on Bill Barnwell’s list of the best bargain signings from the 2021 NFL offseason.

“Another member of the All-Underrated Team, Bourne represents the best value from New England’s offseason spending spree at receiver,” Barnwell wrote for ESPN. com. “I don’t doubt that quarterback Mac Jones has been helped by all the veterans — and tight end Hunter Henry has nine touchdowns — but Henry, Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor have a combined average annual value of $36 million on their deals and have 1,261 total yards this season. Bourne’s three-year, $15-million deal, on the other hand, has been a bargain.

“The former 49ers wideout has been the poor man’s Deebo Samuel, racking up 776 receiving yards while adding a quietly impressive 117 rushing yards on 11 carries. He doesn’t have Samuel’s ability to make an impact as a traditional running back, but when you’re averaging 11.8 yards per target, you’re doing something right. His mark there leads the league, just ahead of the guy with 11.6 yards per target in second place … Samuel. In a league in which signing a successful free-agent wide receiver is virtually impossible, Bourne has been the exception to the rule.”

Heading into the final week of the regular season, Bourne ranks second among Patriots in catches, receiving yards and touchdown grabs. His versatility, as Barnwell touched on, has become a great asset for New England, and it very well could have Bourne all over the field in the playoffs as it tries to surprise the opposition.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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