Suddenly, the New England Patriots have a logjam at the wide receiver position. With the emergence of 2023 sixth-round pick Demario Douglas, another rookie receiver has seen his opportunity decline, which begs the question: Will Kayshon Boutte get his opportunity in New England?
The LSU standout had his opportunity to start the season, but not getting both feet inbound during a last-minute, potential go-ahead drive against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1 has landed Boutte on the sideline even with a lack of wide receiver firepower on the team.
Has Boutte landed in Bill Belichick’s doghouse or is this just another situation where a young rookie is learning and just awaiting his opportunity? When asked this week, Belichick hinted at the latter, but you never know the motivation behind how the Patriots head coach handles personnel.
“It’s been a very competitive situation,” Belichick said during his media session with the media. “We have a lot of competition at that position. So, everybody’s in it. Obviously, the guys that perform the best play the most. The ones that don’t need to perform better.”
That last part just may sum it up why Boutte hasn’t been active since the season opener. With Douglas, Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton and Jalen Reagor all ahead of him at this point, Boutte’s next opportunity may end up coming with another team he can’t work his way up that depth chart.
Patriots trade talk: Belichick should pluck Hunter Renfrow from the Raiders
Let’s just add more wide receiver competition to the Patriots depth chart, shall we?
Outside of Bourne and Douglas, the Patriots offense really could use another reliable target. If Reagor, Thornton, Parker or even Boutte doesn’t step up, a player like Hunter Renfrow could be a perfect playmaker to stick into the mix.
With his relationship with the Las Vegas Raiders deteriorating by the minute, the Clemson product is in desperate need of a change of scenery. With just eight catches for 73 yards this season, Renfrow is growing frustrated in his current situation and knows he can be a value in another offense.
“I feel like I can help,” Renfrow said, via the Las Vegas Review Journal. “Whether its this team or whoever it is, I feel like I can help. And I’m excited to do that moving forward.”
As a player rumored to be a Patriots draft target prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, Renfrow fits the mode of the type of receiver who flourishes in New England.
After a breakout year in 2021 in which he caught 103 passes for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns, his production with the Raiders has drastically declined the last couple of years. If the Patriots want him, he should be affordable. Maybe they could package either Parker or Thornton in a potential deal.