New England Patriots

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 19: Kendrick Bourne #6 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The contract details are in for new Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. As is often the case, the full breakdown paints a different picture than the overall numbers suggest.

Bourne was originally reported to have signed a three-year deal with the Patriots worth $22.5 million. But the base value is actually $15 million, and only $5.25 million is guaranteed. Bourne will get all of his guaranteed money in year 1.

But there are multiple ways for Bourne to earn much more than just the guaranteed money. Here’s the year-by-year breakdown of the contract, per Mike Reiss:

2021: $1 million salary, $750,000 roster bonuses ($44,117.65 per game)
2022: $3.5 million salary, $750,000 roster bonuses ($44,117.65 per game)
2023: $4 million salary, $750,000 roster bonuses ($44,117.65 per game)

If Bourne plays every game over the next three seasons, he gets to $15 million. The remaining $7.5 million is tied to incentives and escalators. According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Bourne can earn up to $1.5 million per season in incentives based on catches and yards. Additionally, he can earn a $3 million base salary escalator in 2023.

Assuming all the incentives are classified as “not likely to be earned,” then only Bourne’s salary and bonuses count against the 2021 salary cap. Based on the above figures, Bourne’s 2021 cap hit will be $3.17 million.

That’s a long way of saying: the Patriots’ dizzying spending spree on Monday (and even the signing of Hunter Henry) doesn’t preclude them from continuing to add free agents for 2021. Scroll down for a list of notable free agents still available.

MORE: Patriots Free Agency Tracker

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at