As the fallout from the DeAndre Hopkins news continues, it sounds like we finally may know for sure which receiver could have been pushed out had Hopkins ended up in New England.
According to the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed during his weekly podcast with colleague Andrew Callahan, Kendrick Bourne may have been the one the Patriots would have potentially parted ways with had Hopkins picked the New England Patriots over the Tennessee Titans.
Instead, now that Hopkins has made his decision, the Patriots are apparently looking for big things from the veteran receiver.
“There’s, I think, still optimism about Kendrick Bourne on this team as well, and that was kind of a factor in this in that, from what I was hearing, there was a good possibility that Bourne was probably going to be on his way out if Hopkins was on the way in,” said Kyed. “Money-wise, paying Hopkins, [DeVante] Parker, [JuJu] Smith-Schuster, and Kendrick Bourne, all having cap hits in the $5 million-plus range probably didn’t make a lot of sense when you’ve got Tyquan Thornton on the team, when you’ve got the two rookies. So, there’s still optimism about Kendrick Bourne. I think the team’s excited to keep working with him.”
While Kyed admitted that Bourne obviously isn’t the player Hopkins is, he’s still talented enough to potentially make an impact and put together a productive season, and that’s what the team is counting on. Bourne finished with a career-year after having caught 55 passes for 800 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2021, and obviously took a step back last season.
Now the hope appears to be that he’ll have a similar performance that we saw in his first year now that Bill O’Brien’s calling the offense in 2023.
“Kendrick Bourne obviously isn’t DeAndre Hopkins,” said Kyed. “But he’s a year removed from an 800-yard season when he was probably, I don’t know, him and Jakobi Meyers were pretty neck-and-neck in 2021 as far as who was the best wide receiver on the team and I think that they’re kind of counting on him to have a bounce back season with New England.”
“So, yeah, that’s kind of the sentiment I was getting. There’s disappointment but optimism on Kendrick Bourne. I know it’s not the greatest consolation prize for Patriots fans, but Kendrick Bourne … this was quite possibly the difference between Kendrick Bourne being on the 2023 Patriots and not being on the 2023 Patriots.”
(Editor’s note: Portions of the above appeared in this morning’s Daily News and Notes column.)
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Kendrick Bourne