Patriots Sign TE Jonnu Smith

One of the top tight ends on the market is off the board. The Patriots have agreed to terms on a deal with free agent Jonnu Smith, his agent Drew Rosenhaus told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

It’s a big one, as Smith is getting a whopping $50MM over four years with $31.25MM guaranteed. What a way for New England to kick off free agency, and it’s one of the biggest investments Bill Belichick has made in a skill position player in years. Tight end was a clear need for the Pats this offseason, as the team got virtually nothing from the position in 2020. Ryan Izzo led the team’s tight ends with 13 catches for 199 yards and no touchdowns. They haven’t really gotten anything out of it since Rob Gronkowski walked away.

A third-round pick of the Titans in 2017, Smith never truly broke out but flashed a lot of potential during his four years in Tennessee. Stuck behind Delanie Walker for his first couple pro seasons, Smith had his best year yet in 2020.

In 15 games and 14 starts, he had 41 catches for 448 yards and an impressive eight touchdowns. He’ll now be catching passes from Cam Newton, or whoever else Belichick brings in under center. If your team is still looking for a tight end don’t worry, solid options like Hunter Henry, Kyle Rudolph, and Jared Cook are still all on the market.

As Doug Kyed of NESN.com was quick to tweet, Belichick lavished Smith in praise a little over a year ago, calling him the best tight end in the league after the catch.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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