The New England Patriots got free agency underway by agreeing to terms with Jonnu Smith, and they've now added another notable tight end. With Bill Belichick hoping to drastically improve the offense, the Patriots are also signing Hunter Henry to a three-year deal, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
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
Coming into the offseason, Smith and Henry were the consensus top two tight ends available on the open market. New England has added both of them, which clearly shows that Belichick is not trying to have a collapse on offense like the team did in 2020.
Henry recently spoke about the prospects of re-signing with the Los Angeles Chargers, highlighting his relationship with Justin Herbert as a reason why he would stay. However, the Patriots seemingly gave him a contract that the Chargers were unwilling to give him.
When he's healthy, Henry is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL. While starting in a career-best 14 games in 2020, Henry hauled in a career-high 60 passes for 613 yards and four touchdowns.
After the Patriots chose to bring back Cam Newton on another one-year deal, they have surrounded the former MVP with plenty of new weapons. Besides the two tight ends in Smith and Henry, New England has also agreed to deals with Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to bolster the offense as part of a major spending spree.
It remains to be seen if Newton is the definitive starting quarterback for the Patriots in Week 1 of the 2021 season. Regardless of who the quarterback in New England is this upcoming season, they'll have a dynamic duo of tight ends to target in the passing game.