Patriots Offer Contract Extension to $15 Million Free Agent WR: Report

Kendrick Bourne

Getty Images Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne

The New England Patriots are keen on retaining wide receiver Kendrick Bourne in 2024 season, according to a report by Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.

The Patriots made an offer for a contract extension to Bourne before the scouting combine, which ended March 3. Callahan did not report a contract length or dollar amount in his March 4 story but noted that “two front-office executives, one in the AFC and another in the NFC,” said Bourne would eventually land a deal worth $7 million in average annual salary.

As the window for impending free agents to engage with other teams opens on March 11, Bourne, 28, is expected to weigh the Patriots’ offer against potential interest from other franchises, including AFC East rivals the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, as well as the Los Angeles Rams.

An Excellent Start in New England for Bourne

Before tearing an ACL in October, Bourne had 37 receptions for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns in eight games.

Even with the season-ending injury, the Patriots wanted to keep Bourne, whom they signed to a three-year, $15 million deal in 2021. That year, he had a career-best 62 receptions for 877 yards and 7 touchdowns.

“According to a source, the Patriots initially approached Bourne about a possible extension shortly after he tore his ACL,” Callahan wrote. “Bourne visited the team facility two weeks ago for a checkup on his progress and met with team leadership, per sources.”

Bourne is expected to be ready to play for Week 1, Callahan wrote.

Bourne Has Vocalized His Hope to Return to Foxborough

Bourne’s potential return to the Patriots comes amid significant organizational changes. Following the departure of longtime head coach Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo was hired to usher in a new era for the team.

Despite the transition, Bourne expressed confidence in the team’s direction under Mayo’s leadership in an early February sitdown on NBC Sports Boston’s show “Quick Slants” with Tom E. Curran.

“You know seeing him there for three years, he’s always walked around the locker room with great energy, with a great attitude,” Bourne said. “I’m excited to see what he does. I think he’s going to bring great energy. I think it’s going to be a swag that hasn’t been seen before in New England.”

He described the potential resurgence of the Patriots as “unfinished business.”

“I felt like we were in a rebuild. That’s how I felt, it was a rebuild the three years I was there,” Bourne said. “I loved being part of that and setting the foundation, and I think it’s going to take off pretty soon. I want to be part of the take-off, in a sense. I’m excited for the new chapter and I would love to be a part of it. I definitely have unfinished business.”

Bourne has also expressed his support of former Patriots starting QB Mac Jones.

“I love Mac, we got a good relationship,” he said, according to Curran. “I think it was just more the environment for him and not gelling with the OC or the head coach. It was just tough, so hopefully he bounces back.”

If the Patriots and Bourne can agree, he could play a significant role in the Patriots WR room. The roster consists of Ju Ju Smith-Schuester, Tyquan Thorton, Pop Douglas, DeVante Parker, and Keyshon Boutte at WR. The Patriots will also likely add to the WRs via the 2024 NFL draft.