A Bears-Patriots Kendrick Bourne Trade Might Eventually Make Sense

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A Bears-Patriots Kendrick Bourne Trade Might Eventually Make Sense

Chicago Bears

No, the Chicago Bears aren’t going to fix all their problems ahead of the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline (which is in 32 days, mind you). But there is an expectation that they’ll be active in the wide receiver market. And considering long-standing concerns at the position, it would make sense to shake some trees to see if anything falls.

One such consideration the Bears *COULD* make is dealing a future late-round pick for a change-of-scenery candidate. Over at Pro Football Focus, Brad Spielberger offers up a forward-thinking idea. Spielberger proposes Chicago sending a 2023 fifth-round pick to New England for receiver Kendrick Bourne to be the change-of-scenery guy.

From the Bears’ perspective, the obvious fit is obvious. But not so much in OMG, THE BEARS NEED A RECEIVER NOW!!!!!!, sense. Because, while true, there isn’t a feasible in-season trade that could transform Chicago’s offense. And there isn’t an available receiver who can take Justin Fields off from riding the struggle bus. Let’s clear those notions from our brains immediately. But trading for Bourne isn’t about either of those things. Instead, a Bourne pursuit is a smart one because he has another year left on his contract. After this one. In other words, a Bourne acquisition wouldn’t be a partial-year rental. That one extra year could be beneficial.

This is the type of trade the Bears should be angling to make at the trade deadline. Getting a guy into the mix for a half year, knowing you’ll get a full year out of them in 2023, has its perks.

And, let’s face it, the free agent receiver market isn’t looking as great as it did before extensions were being handed out over the spring and summer.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (Chiefs) headlines the list, but the Bears already participated in a failed pursuit of his services. DJ Chark (Lions) has some post-hype sleeper vibes, but the Bears were never explicitly connected to him when he was a free agent last offseason. Does Allen Lazard of the Packers pique your interest? What about Jakobi Meyers? We will not be the next group of fans who thinks their team can fix Sammy Watkins. Marvin Jones Jr.? Nelson Agholor? Do any of those names do anything for you? It ain’t pretty out there in the receiver market. So, yeah, the Bears better be active in the trade market if they intend on building out this receiver’s room.

Bourne, 27, could make a case for being the best available receiver in next year’s free agency class. Well, behind the more accomplished Smith-Schuster. The Eastern Washington product put up an 800-yard receiving season last year. But he is struggling out the gate in 2022 with just 7 catches (9 targets) and 115 receiving yards in three games. On top of that, Bourne is playing on just 23 percent of New England’s offensive snaps. Bourne looks to be the odd-man-out in the Patriots lineup. As we’ve seen with receivers over the years, it doesn’t take much to land in Bill Belichick’s doghouse — and it is not so easy of an escape. So getting a future draft pick for a player boxed out of action just feels like something the Pats would do.

Bears GM Ryan Poles showed he can create Day 3 picks out of thin air last spring. And the Patriots’ seemingly never-ending desire to add draft capital makes this proposal one that is sensible for both sides. That is a rarity to find in online trade proposals these days. And, hey, both teams have already ironed out a deal for a receiver (remember N’Keal Harry?). Let’s play two, eh?


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.