Patriots

Why Bourne has a chip on his shoulder at Pats-Eagles joint practices

Patriots

NFL players don't need much to motivate themselves, and Kendrick Bourne didn't have to look very hard ahead of the New England Patriots' joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The new Patriots wide receiver revealed Sunday that the Eagles had interest in him in 2021 free agency before he signed with New England.

"I actually kind of was recruited by them in free agency, but not much that I know," Bourne told reporters in a video press conference. " ... I know a couple [Eagles] DBs. I know [Darius] Slay, one of the good guys over there. They have a lot of good DBs. I just want to put some good stuff on tape and we’ll see how it goes."

While Bourne insisted the Patriots were his "first priority" and showed him the "most love" in free agency, he still plans to show Philly what it missed during joint practices with the Eagles on Monday and Tuesday.

"Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do," Bourne said.

Bourne had his best season as a pro in 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers, catching 49 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games. That campaign helped earn him a three-year, $15 million contract with New England, where he's in line to be the team's No. 2 wide receiver behind Nelson Agholor.

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In addition to that enticing opportunity, the 26-year-old appears to be enjoying the unique challenge of playing for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"Everything is what it seems. Hard work. Lot of effort," Bourne added. “ ... You have to come to work and showcase your talent every day. Ain’t no cutting no slack here and that’s what I love. If you can’t handle it, you’ll eventually be exposed. That’s real tough."

 

The Eagles could have used veteran help at wide receiver this offseason, as rookie DeVonta Smith -- who is sidelined with a knee injury -- sits atop the depth chart. It appears Bourne will attempt to reinforce that point as he takes on Philadelphia's secondary this week.