Kendrick Bourne locks in with 49ers after career year

Kendrick Bourne signs his tender to return to 49ers receiving corps

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 17: San Francisco 49ers’ Kendrick Bourne (84) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Kendrick Bourne’s career-best season earned him a raise for 2020, and he’s accepted it.

Now that Bourne has signed his $3.26 million tender as a 49ers restricted free agent, he shouldn’t have to sweat about making the roster and perhaps instead the starting lineup.

The 49ers have an opening at wide receiver now that Emmanuel Sanders has left in free agency. Bourne evolved into the third-most targeted wide receiver, behind go-to tight end George Kittle.

SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 19: San Francisco 49ers’ Kendrick Bourne (84) and former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice share a light moment during warmups before they take on Green Bay Packers in their NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

If the 49ers opened their season today, Deebo Samuel and Bourne might be the starting receivers, with recently signed veteran Travis Benjamin in the slot. Another potential starter could come via a receiver-rich draft in which the 49ers are slotted to pick at Nos. 13 and 31 in the first round.

Bourne has been working out this offseason in Portland. He started no games last season after eight in 2018 while totaling a career-high 42 catches.

Other holdovers still in the mix include Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd.

Bourne had a career-high five touchdown catches last regular season to tie with Kittle for the team lead, and Bourne also scored in the playoff opener against Minnesota. he overcame early-season drops and evolved into a third-down asset.

Running back Matt Breida has not yet signed his $3.26 million tender as a restricted free agent.

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