There might be trouble in paradise with Kendrick Bourne and the Patriots.
Bourne, coming off a strong first season in New England, has endured a quiet, occasionally confusing second training camp with the Patriots. He hasn’t done much during team drills, and last week got reamed out by Bill Belichick and ejected for fighting during the same joint practice with the Panthers. After working with the backups the next day, Bourne was a surprise inactive Friday night against Carolina.
So, it’s no surprise that some are wondering whether Bourne, not Nelson Agholor, could land on the trade block before the start of the regular season — if he hasn’t already.
But what gives? Why is a once-ideal marriage now seemingly on the rocks?
Over the last few weeks, Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard has been indicating friction between Bourne and the Patriots over the direction of New England’s revamped offense. He went into greater detail — while saying Bourne “absolutely” could be a trade candidate — during an NBC Sports Boston appearance on Sunday night.
“I don’t think it’s a good situation,” Bedard said. “There could be a personal situation, but Bill usually says that if it is. And the thing, what was strange about the game, being in the locker room after the game, was that this locker room was open. It wasn’t closed like Trent Brown’s or Kristian Wilkerson’s — guys who were hurt (or) weren’t there.
” … So, his locker was open. His game uniform was on his shoulder pads in his locker. So, that tells me that they thought he was gonna play. … To me, I read this as a benching. That whatever went on this week, Kendrick Bourne for whatever reason, his head wasn’t in the right space. Belichick decided to basically send him a message.”
Bedard added: “If he’s not a happy camper in the offense — which, depending on who you talk to, people indicate that. He hasn’t exactly been thrilled with the offense for a while. And, you know, what went on this week, him getting demoted. You could see this coming to a situation that’s not tenable for Belichick.”
As Bedard noted, the injury to rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton could force the Patriots to rethink trading any receivers. Thornton is expected to miss roughly eight weeks with a fractured clavicle.
Also worth mentioning: Bourne reportedly was on the field Monday in Las Vegas for the Patriots’ first practice of the week. New England will conduct joint practices with the Raiders on Tuesday and Wednesday before facing Vegas in a preseason matchup on Friday night.
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