Bourne Got Advice from Welker Before Signing With Pats

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne got some inside intel before agreeing to join the New England Patriots
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Kendrick Bourne has hit some personal milestones lately.

The wide receiver tweeted Sunday that he became a first-time homeowner.

And, of course, he signed as a free agent with the Patriots last week.

Playing four years in San Francisco, Bourne might not have known much about what it’s like to play for the Pats. Luckily for him and the Pats, he had someone with a wealth of New England knowledge to pass to him: former Pats receiver Wes Welker.

Welker, who holds the four highest single-season reception totals in Pats history, was Bourne’s wide receivers coach with the 49ers.

“He told me great place, great decision I picked,” Bourne said during his first video conference with the New England media Monday. “And how they work hard there. Everything is earned. That was the biggest thing, when I heard that, come to a place where you can earn everything, go out there and showcase and earn your keep, it was a no-brainer.

“He had a lot of stories, a lot of winning stories. A lot of good times there. I learned a lot from that guy in San Francisco and the stories he gave me about New England.”

Welker wasn’t the only one talking up the Pats. Bourne, who signed a three-year deal with the Pats, said he also got some New England encouragement from 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was with the Patriots for 3½ years before his trade to San Francisco.

Barring the Pats trading for or drafting a new quarterback, it appears Bourne will be going from catching passes from Garoppolo to working with Cam Newton. Bourne said the quarterback situation didn’t make an impact on his decision between teams in free agency, but he was confident Newton is in store a strong comeback season after a lackluster 2020.

“New England knows what they’re doing. They picked Cam for a reason,” Bourne said. “They believe in him. One-year deal ... it is what it is. All it takes is one year to become who you want to be. I think he has another opportunity, and that’s all that matters.”