Why settle for one premier free-agent tight end when you can have two, right?
Apparently, that’s the thinking in New England. One day after signing Jonnu Smith to a four-year, $50 million contract, the Patriots have agreed on a contract with former Los Angeles Chargers tight end, Hunter Henry.
The deal will pay him $37.5 million over three years.
And New England strikes again: The Patriots are signing former Chargers' TE Hunter Henry to a three-year, $37.5 million deal, including $25 million guaranteed, per source.
Free agency's top two tight ends, Henry and Jonnu Smith, wind up in New England.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2021
We wrote yesterday how the Smith contract all but took the Patriots out of the market for Florida’s Kyle Pitts in the first round, and with Henry now in the fold, any chance New England would draft a tight end (at all) is now dead.
Henry’s been a consistently productive player during his tenure with the Chargers despite suffering a torn ACL prior to the 2018 season. He ended 2020 with 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games and will pair with Smith to make one of the most formidable tight end tandems in the NFL.
This isn’t a new strategy for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. They deployed a two-tight end set with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez during some of their most successful seasons.
And remember: New England added wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne too. While they aren’t world-beaters, they’re definitely an upgrade over the group of misfits Cam Newton was throwing to in 2020.
You can stay up to date with all of the free agency transactions here.