Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Kendrick Bourne wants to return to 49ers, but big payday could be tempting

Mar 12, 2021 at 11:41 AM--

Kendrick Bourne has made it clear that he would love to return to the San Francisco 49ers. It's the team that gave him his chance in the NFL, signing the wide receiver as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Washington in 2017.

Bourne had carer-highs in receptions (49) and receiving yards (667) this past season while adding two trips into the end zone. The energetic wideout has hauled in 137 receptions for 1,769 yards with 11 touchdowns through his four NFL seasons.

Bourne joined KNBR on Friday morning and shared that the 49ers remain a possibility, and the two sides have been in communication as the receiver continues to inch closer to free agency next week.

"[49ers general manager John Lynch] has definitely been in contact with me," Bourne said on the Murph & Mac show. "He's calling me, telling me they're really thinking about me, they really care about me. They love my energy, love my charisma, and stuff like that.

"They know the kind of energy I bring, and I think they cherish that the most. Football isn't (all) about energy. Football is about being out there, ready to go at all times, and I feel like they think I bring that.

"So, they've really been telling me to try to get it done, so I'm just kind of waiting for the call, you know? It's kind of like college recruiting all over again. You just kind of sit around, wait, see what they want, see how they feel about you, and stuff like that."

Bourne's 72.0 overall Pro Football Focus grade for this past season was a career-high. He was credited with four drops, but quarterbacks owned a 95.1 passer rating when targeting the 25-year-old. Only Richie James Jr. gave his quarterbacks a higher passer rating (120.0) but did so on fewer than half the targets and receptions.

"They definitely told me they want me back, so that's just a great feeling in itself," Bourne continued. "It could be the other way around, easily. So, I'm just glad how I took those four years serious, and am at where I'm at."

What happens if Bourne hits the open market next week? His representatives can begin discussions with other teams on Monday. The receiver admits to being nervous and anxious about what could happen.

"I'm weighing my options, but the Niners is the top of my list of places I've been, places I'm comfortable," Bourne shared. "My relationships there are natural. The people, they understand me already. You go somewhere else, it might not be greener on the other side.

"But just trying to play the best option for me. I've got family I've got to take care of, stuff like that; life stuff. If somebody's going to give me a lot of money, then it might be a hard decision for me, but we'll just see how it plays out.

"The Niners said they're really going to try their hardest to satisfy me, payment-wise, so we'll see. They're really talking well. I haven't heard anything [about] other teams, so we'll just see how it goes."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Bourne below.

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