New England Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick likely won’t sit still with his roster before training camp.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell predicts that the Patriots will trade either wide receiver DeVante Parker or fellow wideout Kendrick Bourne to acquire “offensive line depth”. Both Parker and Bourne had subpar seasons in 2022, and they will compete for the third receiver spot after JuJu Smith-Schuster and Tyquan Thornton.
“Parker and Bourne don’t play special teams in New England, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were competing for a roster spot in camp,” wrote Barnwell, who singled out Bourne as the more likely trade candidate.
“Given how Bourne fell out of favor with the organization last season, I wonder whether the Patriots would consider moving him for help elsewhere, like possible offensive line depth,” Barnwell added. “Bourne is making a reasonable $5.5 million in 2023, none of which is guaranteed. Could he end up somewhere like Houston, especially if John Metchie III — who is expected to return after missing 2022 with leukemia — doesn’t start the season on the active roster?”
Who or what the Patriots would trade for remains to be seen in this scenario. New England didn’t take a tackle in the draft, which many considered a position of need. Potential Patriots starters Trent Brown and Riley Reiff both have only a year left on their deals.
Ex-Patriots WR Signs With Raiders: Report
A trend continued on Monday, May 15, as former Patriots receiver Kristian Wilkerson signed with the Las Vegas Raiders according to KPRC’s Aaron Wilson.
With former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels at the helm in Las Vegas, the Raiders have become a destination for former Patriots. The growing lists includes Jimmy Garoppolo, Brian Hoyer, Jakobi Meyers, Phillip Dorsett, and Chandler Jones. Former Patriots on the Raiders coaching staff include Danny Amendola, Mick Lombardi and Patrick Graham.
Wilkerson played for the Patriots in 2020 after the Tennessee Titans cut him in training camp. The former Southeast Missouri State standout went undrafted in 2022, but he made an impact with the Patriots in a January 2022 game with eight catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Otherwise, Wilkerson spent most of his time on the Patriots practice squad.
New England waived Wilkerson in February, and he tried to catch on with the Indianapolis Colts. Instead, the Colts released him in May.
Patriots Rookie WR Gets Down to Business
Former LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte went to the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL draft, but that doesn’t make him a no-name player.
Boutte received an invite for the 29th Annual NFLPA Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. The event features 45 rookies who will learn about growing business, such as endorsements, off the field. Only Boutte received an invite out of the 12 Patriots draft picks.
The event will draw 11 receivers overall from the draft, which includes former Boston College star Zay Flowers. New England waited until the sixth round to pick a receiver despite quality options and a need to fill amid a meager passing game in 2022.
Boutte could prove he was worth the wait despite his draft stock falling over “coachability concerns” according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. At LSU, Boutte tallied 131 receptions for 1,782 yards and 16 touchdowns in 27 games for the Tigers over three seasons.