Patriots open free agency with deals to re-sign Bourne and add Gibson, AP sources say

Mon, Mar 11, 2024
NFL News (AP)

Patriots open free agency with deals to re-sign Bourne and add Gibson, AP sources say

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Receiver Kendrick Bourne and running back Antonio Gibson have agreed to contracts with the New England Patriots, two people familiar with the deals told The Associated Press on Monday.

Bourne is returning to New England on a three-year deal, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the extension hasn't been finalized. Gibson, formerly of the Washington Commanders, is getting $11.25 million over three years with $5.3 million fully guaranteed, according to another person who spoke condition of anonymity because free agents can't sign with new teams until Wednesday.

The Patriots also announced the signing of veteran tackle Chukwuma Okorafor. A 2018 draft pick by Pittsburgh, the 26-year-old spent each of his first six seasons with the Steelers. He provides some depth on a Patriots offensive line that struggled with continuity and consistency last season.

In addition, receiver DeVante Parker's agent Jimmy Gould confirmed to the AP that he'd been granted permission to contact other teams in advance of New England's plans to release Parker when the new league year begins Wednesday.

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All the moves are steps toward solidifying an offense that is being overhauled heading into coach Jerod Mayo's first season. On Sunday, the Patriots traded quarterback Mac Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a sixth-round pick in next month's NFL draft.

The Patriots hold the No. 3 overall pick and are expected to use it to select Jones' replacement.

Bourne was having his best season with the Patriots in 2023 before suffering a torn knee ligament in a Week 8 loss to Dolphins. He has played in 41 games over his three seasons in New England, totaling 127 catches for 1,640 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He said recently that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp.

Gibson had 48 catches for 389 yards and two touchdowns last season, averaging a career-best 8.1 yards per reception. He could give the Patriots a pass-catcher out of the backfield that they haven't had since James White retired before the 2022 season.


AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.



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