The San Francisco 49ers have a busy offseason ahead of them. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have to decide what to do with the nearly 40 players from last season’s roster who are up for free agency.
One of those players is receiver Kendrick Bourne. The 25-year-old played in 15 games last season, finishing with 49 receptions for 667 yards and two scores. Bourne — who has spent all four of his NFL seasons with the Niners — earned $3.25 million for the 2020 campaign, per Spotrac.
Bourne talked with Cam Inman of The Mercury News and touched on his impending free agency.
“I love the Niners, though, and they’re still in the conversation with me. They’ve told me they want me back, so that’s definitely still an option.
They’ve got me as a good priority, I feel. They show a lot interest and are trying to get something done. I’m not their top priority, but they appreciate everything I’ve done the last few years. It’s a good relationship, and the building is awesome.”
It remains to be seen what the NFL salary cap is for the 2021 season but Lynch and co. won’t have too much wiggle room. The 49ers currently have just under $10 million in space, but that is without the restructuring and releases we should see in the new league year.
Re-signing Trent Williams is the top priority for the Niners, who plays one of the most critical positions in football. Reports indicate that the salary cap around $185 million for next season, which will give Lynch and co. some more breathing room.
Still, the cap won’t climb like it usually does each season, so teams that are up against the limit will have to tread carefully when free agency begins. Bourne could look to come back on a one-year deal and parlay that into a bigger contract next offseason.
Bourne averaged 13.6 yards per reception in 2020, but drops continue to plague the receiver. Bourne led the 49ers in drops (six) and had the highest drop percentage (8.1) of any receiver on the team who was targeted more than 10 times.
The 49ers have Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on the roster as their top two wideouts. Richie James Jr. and Jalen Hurd could take over the No. 3 spot if they move on from Bourne.
Do you think Bourne will be back with the Niners in 2021? If so, what do you think is a fair contract for him?