Patriots Reportedly Have ‘Notable Gap’ In Contract Talks With Kendrick Bourne

The New England Patriots reportedly got a deal done with Hunter Henry on Friday before the veteran tight end hit free agency.

But their chances of doing the same and coming to a contract agreement with Kendrick Bourne before the 28-year-old wide receiver officially hits free agency Wednesday seemed to take a hit.

CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported Sunday that there’s still plenty of ground for the Patriots and Bourne to make up on the contract front.

“The Patriots and WR Kendrick Bourne are still working to find middle ground on compensation on a deal, as there’s still a notable gap, per sources,” Anderson wrote on the X platform.

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Bourne has expressed throughout the offseason his desire to return to the Patriots, but given Anderson’s report, it doesn’t seem like he’s entirely willing to take a hometown discount, either.

The Patriots are expected to make a run at a veteran wide receiver in free agency, which may be why they aren’t willing to meet Bourne’s demands.

Bourne, who has been a reliable option in a defunct Patriots offense the past three seasons, also is coming off a significant injury as he tore his ACL in a Week 8 loss to the Miami Dolphins this past season. Bourne believes he will be a fully healthy once next season starts.

“(Doctor Neal ElAttrache) let me know that I’m going to be ready, come in minicamp getting ready and then training camp I’m full go,” Bourne said while appearing on “NFL Total Access” on Thursday. “My plan is to play Game 1. And I believe I’m going to be ready.”

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Wide receiver is a position of need for the Patriots as they have a less than stellar group of DeVante Parker, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeMario Douglas and Tyquan Thornton under contract for next season.

Retaining Bourne would bolster the position, but fellow NFL teams can try to pry Bourne away when the NFL’s legal tampering period begins Monday at noon.

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