Patriots To Sign TE Anthony Firkser

Two months after trading Jonnu Smith to the Falcons, the Patriots will pick up one of Atlanta’s recent tight ends. Anthony Firkser agreed to terms with New England on Thursday, Mike Reiss of tweets.

This will mark a Massachusetts return for Firkser, a Harvard alum, and another ex-Titan tight end to join the Patriots. After Tennessee let Smith walk in 2021, the team turned to Firkser as a replacement option. With Smith now in Atlanta, New England will see what Firkser has to offer alongside Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki.

Firkser, 28, spent four seasons with the Titans before rejoining ex-Tennessee tight ends coach Arthur Smith in Atlanta. Despite Kyle Pitts going down with a season-ending injury midway through last year, Firkser did not make much of a statistical impact with the Falcons. He is coming off a nine-catch, 100-yard season. Pro Football Focus did grade Firkser as one of the top pass-protecting tight ends last year, but he only played 148 offensive snaps in Atlanta.

The Falcons added Firkser on a one-year deal worth just $1.2MM in 2022, bringing him in to replace Hayden Hurst. Atlanta did not feature a high-octane passing attack, preferring to lean on the ground game as Marcus Mariota started 13 games before rookie Desmond Ridder finished the year. Firkser fared a bit better in Tennessee, totaling 387 receiving yards in 2020 and 291 in 2021.

The Pats were able to land Gesicki — a 2022 franchise tag recipient — one a one-year deal worth just $4.5MM. Henry is going into Year 3 of a three-year, $37.5MM contract. The Pats have not quite received what they’d hoped when they splurged for Henry and Smith in 2021, but this year’s edition features plenty of experience. Henry is going into his eighth NFL season; Gesicki and Firkser each are entering their sixth years.

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