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Patriots Sign TE Hunter Henry; Continue Spending Spree

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Just a few months after wrapping up a disappointing 7-9 season, the New England Patriots have put the rest of the NFL world on notice that they are not going down without a fight.  Though the Pats are known as a usually frugal team, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick have been spending money like crazy of late.  After deciding to bring back Cam Newton just a few days ago, the Pats bought Newton a new favorite target in tight end Hunter Henry.  Here is a closer look at Henry’s deal, as well as the other key moves the Pats have made this offseason.

What does Henry bring to the table?

Hunter Henry’s contract from the Pats is for 3 years and 37.5 million (espn.com).  Coach Belichick loves utilizing the tight end position possibly more than any other NFL coach so Henry will be a key piece to the new Patriots puzzle.  At 6-5 and 250 pounds, Henry will provide a huge safety net for quarterback Cam Newton.  

Henry caught 21 touchdowns during his 4-year stint with the Chargers (pro-football-reference.com).  The Chargers selected Henry in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Arkansas.  Not only is Henry a fabulous pass catcher, he is also skilled as a blocker as well which will be a plus for all the Pats running backs.

Pats also Sign TE Jonnu Smith to 4-year Deal

The Patriots have also signed former Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith to a 4-year contract worth 50 million dollars.  Why tie up so much money in the tight end position?  Bill Belichick loves running 2 tight end sets like he did back in the day with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Smith, like Henry, is also a terrific pass catcher over the middle.  Smith has caught 16 touchdowns over his 4-year NFL career thus far.  At 6-3 and 248 pounds, Smith has the size and speed to drive opposing defensive coordinators insane.  The Titans drafted Smith with their 3rd round choice in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Florida International.

Pats Sign Speedsters Bourne and Agholor

Keeping the spending spree going, Robert Kraft broke out his big checkbook again by signing 2 new wide receivers in Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor.  Both of these wideouts have plenty of speed and the ability to stretch defenses.  Spending so much salary cap on pass catchers means that Bill Belichick wants to give Cam Newton every opportunity to succeed in 2021.

Agholor was a huge help to Derek Carr last year and the Las Vegas Raiders.  Though somewhat slight of stature at only 6 foot, Agholor had a fantastic 2020 season by catching 8 touchdowns.  The 27-year old from USC should have plenty of good football years left in him.

Bourne shows lots of quickness off the line of scrimmage even though he is not as fast as Agholor.  Bourne was often a favorite target of Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo during his time in San Francisco.  The Eastern Washington alum caught 11 touchdowns and had nearly 2,000 receiving yards during his 4 years with the Niners.

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