The “New” New England Patriots
Day one of the NFL’s free agency period only had a few big-name offensive skill players find teams. But there was one extremely active team…the New England Patriots.
The Patriots made roughly 99% of the signings on Monday and each one came with criticism. On the offensive side of the ball, they added Jonnu Smith at the tight end position and the wide receiver duo of Agholor and Bourne. Agholor signs a two-year $26 million dollar deal while Bourne signed a three-year deal, worth $22.5 million.
Agholor locks up starting wide receiver money from the Pats after earning only $1 million from the Raiders in 2020. Did he outplay the Raiders contract? Yes. Did he earn starting wide receiver money? Not in my opinion. Agholor had eight touchdown grabs in 2020 which helped carry him to a WR21 finish in non-PPR standard leagues. It’s hard to overlook those results in a year filled with so many young breakouts at the position. He may not put up points consistently, but he’s getting paid to be out on the field and is someone to make a call on in fantasy leagues.
Kendrick Bourne, on the other hand, is more of a deep shot. He’s a name that was brought up each offseason as a potential breakout candidate for the 49ers, but he was never able to claim a starting spot. Now he finds himself with a multi-year contract from the Patriots, but what does it mean for fantasy? The answer is…not so much. He has to compete against Agholor, Meyers, Edelman, Smith, and Harry for targets just to break out. That’s not even including the running backs. It’s not impossible to see Bourne becoming relevant for a short timeframe, but it’s time to take advantage of his name being in the spotlight. Bourne still has his fans out there and this move to the Patriots might just be the perfect time to get some return on him.
News just broke Tuesday morning of the Patriots signing Hunter Henry which creates even more of a mess for the receiving options in New England. At the end of the day, my gut says to follow the money. Nelson Agholor should be on the field as one of the top wide receiver options. Kendrick Bourne is much more of a deep flier. Either way, when dealing with Patriots’ fantasy options, proceed with caution because no one knows what Bill Belichick is up to.
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