Mid-level free agent deals that turn into bargains. It’s what the New England Patriots do.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger had a hard time finding the Patriots’ best contract when he put together a list of the most beneficial for each team in the AFC. Ultimately, it was Kendrick Bourne who got the nod, who’s three-year, $15 million deal has already become one of the most valuable in football.
Here’s what Spielberger had to say about his choice:
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the Patriots have a handful of smart deals to choose from. Edge defender Matthew Judon, tackle Trent Brown and safety Jabrill Peppers could all easily outplay their respective contracts in 2022, granted the discounts for Brown and Peppers also come with some risk, as Brown has had issues keeping his weight down and Peppers is coming off a torn ACL.
Nevertheless, Bourne was simply a slam-dunk signing in the 2021 offseason after he didn?t get the opportunity to fully display his skills in a crowded San Francisco 49ers wide receiver group to start his career.
Bourne’s arrival to New England was relatively understated considering the fact his contract was just a fraction of the priciest free agent class in team history. He easily outperformed expectations with a career-high 55 receptions for 800 yards and five scores.
His impact wasn’t just felt on the stat-sheet either. Bourne was by-far the most explosive playmaker for New England, averaging a play over 20 yards every five touches. With more opportunity in his second year in the system, there’s a chance Bourne’s contract looks like an even bigger bargain in 2023.