Is the New England Patriots' wide receiver room a little too crowded?
While the Patriots lack a true No. 1 wideout, they do have several starting-caliber pass-catchers -- including Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor and offseason addition DeVante Parker -- and a promising rookie in second-round pick Tyquan Thornton.
Since New England also has two pass-catching tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, there's a case for the team trading a veteran wide receiver to acquire draft capital or address another roster need.
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Agholor has been floated as a potential trade candidate, but Patriots Insider Phil Perry reported Friday on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition that the Patriots have fielded calls about a different veteran wideout: Bourne.
"I have spoken to enough people in and around the team to be able to feel confidently that the team likes his contract quite a bit," Perry said of Bourne's status with the Patriots, as seen in the video above. "Because if you look at it for a starting-caliber receiver, it is very cost-effective.
"If you were to trade him, I think teams would covet him, no questions asked. Does that maybe make him expendable? Because I know receiver-needy teams have been calling the Patriots about potentially making a deal."
Bourne is in the second year of a three-year, $15 million contract with New England and carries a $6.4 million cap hit this season. That's decent value for a player who posted career highs in receptions (55) and receiving yards (800) for the Patriots last season.
The 27-year-old has had a rough training camp, however. He was ejected from Tuesday's joint practice with the Carolina Panthers for fighting and didn't even suit up for Friday's preseason game against Carolina at Gillette Stadium. The reason for Bourne's absence isn't clear, but the fact that he hasn't played a snap through two preseason games is a bit concerning.
New England Patriots
There's an obvious risk in trading a starting wideout, as an injury or two could leave the Patriots short-handed at a very important position if they trade Bourne. Case in point: Thornton suffered a shoulder injury Friday night, and his prognosis is unclear.
But if New England appears it can get value for Bourne and/or Agholor, it appears there's interest.