Jonnu Smith

Free Agency Notes: Giants, Vikings, Jets, Hawks, Huff, Commanders, Ekeler, Raiders, Dolphins, Jacobs, Rams

The Bryce Huff market did not reach the level of Jonathan Greenard‘s, and Danielle Hunter also scored a better guarantee compared to the Jets‘ contract-year breakout pass rusher. But the Eagles needed to give Huff a three-year, $51.1MM deal with $34MM guaranteed. That came about because, per Huff, the Commanders, Giants, Seahawks and Vikings joined the Jets in pursuing him. The Jets had expressed interest in keeping the former UDFA, who led the team in sacks last season, but their 2023 Will McDonald draft choice appeared to point Huff elsewhere.

Minnesota came in early with its Greenard signing (four years, $76MM, $38MM fully guaranteed), while Washington turned to one of Dan Quinn‘s ex-Cowboys charges — Dorance Armstrongsoon after. The Giants made a bigger splash hours later by trading for Brian Burns, in a deal that involved a second-rounder going to the Panthers and fifth-rounders being swapped, while the Seahawks devoted their funding to fortifying their interior D-line (via the Leonard Williams deal). Huff, 26, led the NFL in pressure rate last season but was not used as a full-time D-end. It should be expected the Eagles, who have Haason Reddick in trade rumors, will up Huff’s usage.

Here is the latest free agency fallout:

  • As Lloyd Cushenberry and Andre James scored nice contracts, the center market has not seen Connor Williams come off the board. It should be a while on that front. Rehabbing an ACL tear, Williams is not expected to sign anywhere anytime soon, agent Drew Rosenahus said during a WSVP interview (via the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson). Williams going down in Week 14 certainly has impacted his market. Pro Football Focus graded the two-year Dolphins blocker as a top-five center in each of his two Miami seasons. Ahead of his age-27 season, the ex-Cowboys draftee will probably need to show teams he is healthy or on track to full strength before a deal commences.
  • The Raiders lost their starting running back in free agency, seeing Josh Jacobs join the Packers. Zamir White is tentatively in place as Las Vegas’ starter, but the now-Tom Telesco-run club did show interest in Austin Ekeler, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets. Telesco was with the Chargers when they signed Ekeler as a UDFA and when they extended him, but the GM did not greenlight a second extension last year. That led to trade rumors and a small incentive package. Ekeler signed a two-year, $8.43MM Commanders deal, indicating (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) the NFC East team showed the most interest. Despite leading the NFL in TDs in 2021 and 2022, Ekeler received only $4.2MM fully guaranteed — ninth among FA backs this year.
  • As for Jacobs, his guarantee fell well short of Saquon Barkley‘s and shy of the Bears’ commitment to D’Andre Swift. The Packers signed Jacobs to a four-year, $48MM deal, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes only the $12.5MM signing bonus is guaranteed (plus a $1.2MM 2024 salary). Beyond 2024, this is a pay-as-you-go deal. Jacobs is due a $5.93MM roster bonus on Day 5 of the 2025 league year, creating a pivotal date for Green Bay’s backfield. The Packers are known for shying away from guarantees beyond Year 1, in most instances, but it is interesting to see the gap between guarantees Barkley could secure ($26MM) and Jacobs’ locked-in money.
  • The gap between Xavier McKinney‘s Packers deal and the Ramstwo-year Kamren Curl pact ended up wider than the aforementioned RBs. Curl agreed to a $9MM accord, per the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala. Curl, 25, has two seasons to show he can command a more lucrative contract. But McKinney (four years, $68MM) showed how valuable an age-25 offseason can be for earning power, making the Curl contract look quite Rams-friendly.
  • Jonnu Smith‘s two-year Dolphins deal came in at $8.4MM, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Miami will guarantee the former Tennessee, New England and Atlanta tight end $3.96MM. No guarantees are present beyond 2024,’s Albert Breer tweets. Miami’s three-year Jordyn Brooks accord lands slightly lower than initially reported, with Wilson adding the ex-Seattle linebacker signed for $26.25MM. Brooks’ contract features $16MM guaranteed; just $9.5MM of that sum is guaranteed at signing.

Dolphins, TE Jonnu Smith Agree To Deal

After making a number of cost-shedding moves recently, the Dolphins are set to make an addition on offense. Miami has reached agreement on a deal with tight end Jonnu Smith, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

The contract – which Schefter notes is for two years and has a maximum value of $10MM – comes as little surprise. Smith visited Miami earlier this week, pointing to an agreement being in the cards. Now, the parties have worked out an arrangement which will see the 28-year-old join a fourth career team.

The Falcons released Smith last month, a move which freed up cap space and gave him a head start on free agency. Atlanta traded for the former third-rounder in part to reunite him with then-head coach Arthur Smith. With the latter out of the picture, Jonnu Smith was allowed to find a new home before the start of free agency. Expectations for him will be relatively high in South Beach.

Smith posted a career high in catches (50) and yards (582) in 2023, adding three touchdowns along the way. Considering the presence of fellow tight end Kyle Pitts and the struggles the team endured under center, those figures will have impressed the Dolphins and any other suitors Smith may have had in the event he remained unsigned through to next week. Miami had a need at the TE spot, and his ability both in the passing game and as a run blocker will be welcomed in Mike McDaniel‘s scheme.

Durham Smythe led the way in terms of production at the position last season (35 catches, 366 yards) on an offense dominated by wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in the passing game. That duo will no doubt remain a focal point moving forward, but Smith’s skillset could provide a better replacement for former starter Mike Gesicki after he struggled under McDaniel in 2022.

Miami entered Thursday roughly $20MM over the cap ceiling not long before the start of free agency. All teams must be cap compliant by March 13, and further moves will be needed to reach that point in the coming days (although savings will later come into play given the pending release of cornerback Xavien Howard). Smith will add to the Dolphins’ cap sheet in 2024 and ’25, but his addition could be an effective one as the team looks to replicate its offensive success from last season.

Dolphins Host TE Jonnu Smith

The Dolphins finished last season as the only team in the NFL to not have a tight end catch a touchdown. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re eyeing one of the more intriguing names on the market. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Dolphins hosted free agent tight end Jonnu Smith today. The two sides are “said to be in contract negotiations,” per Schefter.

Smith made a name for himself in Tennessee, where he was a third-round pick by the Titans in 2017. He had a standout 2020 campaign, hauling in 41 receptions for 448 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He parlayed that performance into a four-year, $50MM deal with the Patriots in 2021, but he disappointed during his stint in New England.

With the Patriots having added Hunter Henry that same offseason and the team opting for rookie Mac Jones under center, Smith struggled to carve out a role. Through his two seasons in New England, Smith was limited to only 55 catches for 539 yards and one touchdown.

The Patriots managed to find a trade for the veteran last offseason, sending Smith to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick. The tight end had one of the most productive seasons of his career while in Atlanta, finishing the 2023 campaign with career highs in receptions (50) and receiving yards (582). Pro Football Focus ended up grading him 38th among 72 qualifying tight ends, with the site giving him a particularly high grade for his pass-blocking ability. Smith was cut by the Falcons last month, allowing him to start negotiating with teams immediately.

Smith would be an intriguing option for the Dolphins. The organization failed to replace Mike Gesicki‘s production after the tight end left for New England last offseason. Durham Smythe ended up seeing the majority of the snaps at tight end in 2023, finishing with 35 catches for 366 yards. The team also gave Julian Hill a significant look, although the tight end only finished the season with six receptions. Smythe, Hill, and Tanner Conner are under contract for the 2024 campaign.

Mike McDaniel hasn’t leaned much on tight ends through his first two seasons as head coach in Miami, although that was partly due to personnel. Still, Smith could provide Tua Tagovailoa with a big target in the end zone.

Falcons To Release TE Jonnu Smith

A 2023 trade reunited Jonnu Smith with then-Falcons HC Arthur Smith. With a new coaching staff in Atlanta, the Falcons will move on from the veteran tight end.

For a second straight offseason, Smith will be changing teams. The Falcons will release the seventh-year veteran, according to’s Adam Schefter. Smith enjoyed a productive 2023 season and will certainly generate interest on the market. This will be his first time in free agency since 2021.

Smith totaled career-high numbers in receptions (50) and receiving yards (582) last season, adding three touchdowns in what was again a low-wattage Falcons passing attack. With Arthur Smith now in Pittsburgh and Zac Robinson set to call plays in Atlanta, the Falcons will move on from their experienced Kyle Pitts sidekick.

The Falcons will pick up $6.5MM in cap space by making this cut, which will push their total to nearly $40MM. The team had reworked Smith’s contract upon acquiring him last year and stands to gain a chunk of cap room as a result of making him a one-and-done in Atlanta.

Pitts remains tied to his rookie deal, though the former No. 4 overall pick is now extension-eligible. By picking up Pitts’ fifth-year option, the Falcons can extend his rookie contract through 2025. With Pitts being a one-time Pro Bowler, it will cost the Falcons $10.88MM to exercise the option.

Pitts and Smith formed one of the NFL’s top tight end tandems last season, combining to catch 103 passes for more than 1,200 yards. Smith finished the season as the Falcons’ third-leading receiver — behind Drake London and Pitts — and bounced back from his Patriots seasons. After commanding a lucrative deal as a free agent in 2021, Smith did not exceed 300 receiving yards in either of his two New England seasons alongside Hunter Henry.

Jonnu Smith did eclipse 400 yards in each of Arthur Smith’s two seasons as Titans OC. The Steelers rostering Pat Freiermuth and third-round pick Darnell Washington makes another reunion harder to envision, but given the success the 28-year-old pass catcher has achieved on the play-caller’s watch, it would seemingly not be out of the question.

Falcons To Acquire TE Jonnu Smith From Patriots

The Patriots have moved on from one of their big-ticket tight end acquisitions of 2021. Jonnu Smith is being traded to the Falcons for a seventh-round pick, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Smith made himself one of the top free agents of the 2021 class at the position after the four-year start to his career in Tennessee. As part of their unusually aggressive approach on the open market that offseason, New England inked him to a four-year, $50MM contract. They also splurged on fellow tight end Hunter Henry, something the team may have come to regret.

The former had an underwhelming tenure with New England, scoring just one touchdown in 30 games. He registered 539 yards on 55 catches, totals which were far lower than expected given his success in Tennessee. Now, this move will reunite him with Falcons head coach Arthur Smith (who was the Titans’ offensive coordinator during his time there). It will also save the Patriots roughly $4.4MM in cap space.

Smith’s deal was restructured in September, which upped his 2023 cap hit to $17.2MM. Per multiple reports, the Falcons will look to re-work his contract once again upon arrival to make it more team-friendly. Smith, 27, is currently on the books through 2024. He will look to rediscover his Titans form while working with a familiar coach in Atlanta, while also giving the Falcons a strong blocking tight end to complement the pass-catching skills of Kyle Pitts.

For New England, this move marks a disappointing end to Smith’s addition two years ago. They will now focus on retaining Henry, who has racked up 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns in his two Patriots campaigns. The former Charger has one year remaining on his deal, which includes a cap hit of $15.5MM. That figure could hinder the team’s efforts to add more productive receivers (regardless of if they are able to keep Jakobi Meyers in the fold), though the cap savings from this deal will give them some added flexibility. A replacement for Smith can likely be found in the draft, which is said to include a number of high-end options at the TE spot this year.

Patriots Rework TE Jonnu Smith’s Contract

The Patriots reworked Jonnu Smith‘s contract yesterday, opening a chunk of cap space. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the Patriots converted $7.96MM of the tight end’s base salary into a bonus, creating an extra $5.31MM in cap space. This move now gives the Patriots more than $8.8MM in cap space.

Thanks to the restructured deal, Smith’s cap hit will increase by $2.655MM in both 2023 and 2024, giving him a $17.4MM cap hit in 2023 and a $18.4MM cap hit in 2024 (h/t to Miguel Benzan on Twitter). If the Patriots were to cut Smith before June 2, 2023, they’d be left with more than $19MM in dead cap, and they’d be left with $12.8MM in dead cap following a trade.

In other words, the Patriots are indicating that Smith will likely be sticking around beyond the 2022 season. This is a bit surprising after the tight end disappointed during his first season in New England. After hauling in eight touchdowns for the Titans in 2020, Smith inked a four-year, $50MM deal last offseason. He struggled throughout the 2021 campaign, finishing with only 28 receptions for 294 yards and one score.

Reports out of Patriots camp have noted that Smith looks more comfortable during his second training camp and preseason. After the Patriots committed only 18 percent of their offensive snaps to two tight end sets in 2021, we could see Smith play a larger role alongside Hunter Henry in 2022.

Bengals Make Three Waiver Claims

SEPTEMBER 2: To no surprise, the Bengals are indeed re-signing Allen, Thomas and Williams now that they have the open roster spots to do so, per a team announcement. Cincinnati is also placing safety Tycen Anderson and tackle Isaiah Prince on IR.

AUGUST 31: The Bengals have made some notable additions in the aftermath of yesterday’s roster cutdowns. Per the waiver wire, they have claimed tight end Devin Asiasiguard Max Scharping and defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

[RELATED: Bengals Expected To Sign TE Howard]

Asiasi came to New England with significant expectations, given his draft status and the organization’s success at the position. The third-rounder made just 10 appearances in his first two seasons, though, recording only a pair of receptions. The Patriots made a substantial free agent investment in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith last offseason, limiting his future with the team. In Cincinnati, he will face steep competition for playing time from Hayden Hurst and, in all likelihood, O.J. Howard.

Scharping is in a similar situation to Asiasi in terms of being an underwhelming high draft choice yet to finish their rookie contract. A 2019 second-rounder, the 26-year-old started 33 of the 48 contests he appeared in with the Texans, moving from the left to right guard spot this past season. Regardless of where he lined up, the Northern Illinois alum graded out in the mid-to-high 50s with respect to PFF rating, leaving him on the roster bubble. Scharping’s vacated spot is likely to be filled by A.J. Cann; he will challenge for a backup role behind top free agent addition Alex Cappa with the Bengals.

Tufele, meanwhile, has seen the least playing time of the new trio. As a rookie last season, he made just four appearances in Jacksonville, totaling two tackles. His PFF pass rush grade of 77 indicates some upside on third downs, which dates back to his time in college. Moving on from the USC alum so soon may have come as a surprise, though the additions of Folorunso Fatukasi and Adam Gotsis along the d-line were likely to significantly lessen his chance of seeing significant playing time with the Jaguars. The Bengals lost Larry Ogunjobi in free agency, but re-upped B.J. Hill, whom Tufele will look to provide depth behind his new home.

The defending AFC champions will return many of the members of last season’s team, but these additions could prove effective at areas of relative need. Among the cuts necessary to accommodate the new arrivals is veteran quarterback Brandon Allen. The 29-year-old signed a one-year deal for the third consecutive offseason to remain in Cincinnati.

For now, Allen’s departure leaves the Bengals with only Joe Burrow under center. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo tweets, however, that Allen “will be back.” Cincinnati is also parting ways with safety Michael Thomas and running back Trayveon Williams.

Jets Made A Push For TE Jonnu Smith

The Jets watched the division-rival Patriots embark on an uncharacteristic spending spree this month, and at least one of New England’s shiny new toys was a New York target. Per Jeremy Fowler of (via ESPN colleague Rich Cimini), the Jets made a push for former Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, who wound up signing a whopping four-year, $50MM deal with the Pats.

Jets GM Joe Douglas has shown restraint when it comes to handing out big-money deals to FAs. He has established a pattern of sticking to his price for a particular player, and given that Smith’s deal was larger than most in the industry expected, it’s not terribly surprising that Douglas did not outbid Bill Belichick for the 25-year-old TE.

Douglas was able to add a couple of new receivers — Corey Davis and Keelan Cole — for whoever will be under center when Week 1 rolls around, but tight end is still a weak spot. Chris Herndon, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, underperformed in 2020, and while the Jets did sign Tyler Kroft in free agency, he is hardly the playmaking talent that teams are looking for at the position these days. Plus, outside of Kyle Pitts, this year’s rookie class of TEs is rather thin. And unless the Jets elect to keep Sam Darnold and use the No. 2 overall pick on Pitts — or a lower selection if they trade down a couple of spots — it will be difficult to find an upgrade in the draft.

Still, there is encouraging news for Jets fans. According to Cimini, new head coach Robert Saleh has made his club a much more attractive destination for free agents, who used to choose Gang Green simply when the team overpaid.

In speaking about his choice to join the Jets, Davis said, “[i]t starts with Coach Saleh. He’s the right guy to come in here and turn things around. That’s what I believe. That’s why I came here. I believe his message and I believe what he brings to the table. He brings great energy, you can tell. It’ll be great to play for a guy like that.”

Money will still be the deciding factor in most cases, but having a charismatic HC who can connect with players will only help the Jets’ cause when it comes to attracting outside talent.

Contract Details: Patriots, Moseley, Golden, Bills, Hyde

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • LB Matt Judon, Patriots: $18MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1MM (2021), $11MM (2022), $11MM (2023), $9.5MM (2024). Up to $1MM in per-game roster bonuses, $500K All-Pro incentive between 2022 and 2024. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.
  • TE Jonnu Smith, Patriots: $15MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1MM (2021), $9MM (2022), $10MM (2023), $11MM (2024). Up to $1MM in per-game roster bonuses. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • CB Emmanuel Moseley, 49ers: $500K per-game active roster bonus in 2022. Up to $750K play-time base salary escalator in 2022. Via Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson on Twitter.
  • LB Markus Golden, Cardinals: two years, $5MM, $2.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1MM (2021, guaranteed), $2MM (2022). Up to $250K in annual per-game roster bonuses, up to $2MM in annual sack incentives. Via Wilson on Twitter.
  • OT Daryl Williams, Bills: $13.75MM guaranteed, $5.4MM signing bonus. Salaries: $1MM (2021), $6.725MM (2022), $5.475MM (2023). $3MM roster bonus in 2021, $1.25MM roster bonus in 2023. Per-game roster bonuses: $250K (2021), $300K (2022-2023). $100K annual workout bonuses. $2.2MM in additional annual incentives. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • RB Carlos Hyde, Jaguars: Two years, $4.5MM. $1.25MM base salary in 2021 is fully guaranteed. $900K signing bonus. Via TheMMQB’s Albert Breer on Twitter.

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 (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 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.