In a pair of moves to bolster their wide receivers corps, the Patriots agreed to sign Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to multi-year deals.
According to NFL Network, Agholor’s contract is for two years, $26 million, and Bourne’s is worth three years, $22.5 million.
Agholor, 27, is coming off his best NFL season, amassing 896 receiving yards and eight touchdowns for the Las Vegas Raiders last year. His average of 18.7 yards per catch ranked second in the league among pass catchers with at least 25 receptions. His catch rate of 58.5 percent, however, ranked outside the top-100 among the same group.
Despite the occasional drop, including one that produced this viral clip in Philly, Agholor poses a deep threat. Fifteen of his 48 receptions last season generated gains of at least 20 yards — and six were touchdowns.
According to Next Gen Stats, Agholor, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds, led the league in yards on vertical routes last season with 524.
A first-round pick out of USC in 2015, Agholor spent his first five NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and was a part of their Super Bowl LII championship squad. But he didn’t live up to his potential in Philadelphia, which is why his contract with the Raiders was only for one-year and $1.05 million.
Bourne, 25, is also coming off the best season of his NFL career. Last year for the San Francisco 49ers, he caught 49 passes on 74 targets for 667 yards and two touchdowns. Thirty-five of his receptions converted a first down.
Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sounds like a big fan.
“KB, he finds space,” Garoppolo said in December 2019. “He’s a good, instinctive player who, if the initial play isn’t there or we’re a little off-schedule, he has no problem working, puts his hands up, all those little things that you do when the play breaks down. He’s phenomenal at it.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan also had nice things to say about Bourne’s relaxed, cheerful disposition.
“When you sit there and get on him, he still sits there and smiles at you,” Shanahan said in December 2019. “At first, it used to drive me crazy because it’s like, ‘Are you not bothered by it?’ He is. He’s trying his hardest; he’s trying to go out there. He really loves to play football.
“I think you guys can see how he plays and sometimes, I think, that can get taken the wrong way in terms of he’s not locked in and detailed on it, and he is. He works at it all week. He has a lot of fun out there, which sometimes he will make some mistakes, but I also think it’s kind of his gift and his curse.
“It’s also why he’s never freaking out out there, either. He is loose and the game is not too big for him, no matter what the situation is. Sometimes I’m like, ‘I’m glad he doesn’t know how big this moment is because he looks fearless as can be.’”
Bourne, an undrafted receiver out of Eastern Washington, primarily lined up out wide last season, though he also played in the slot. Shanahan also praised his blocking ability.
Agholor and Bourne join Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski in New England’s wide receiver room.
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.