We expected to see the New England Patriots spend a lot of money this offseason after a down year in 2020. That is exactly what happened on the first day of the legal tampering period for NFL free agents. Within hours of free agency opening up things began to roll for the Patriots.
They started things off with a big splash at tight end. Ex-Titan Jonnu Smith agreed to a 4yr/$50M deal with the Patriots, and $31.25M of that is guaranteed. This finally gives the Patriots a real weapon at tight end since their days with prime Gronkowski.
Jonnu Smith has started 50 of his 57 career games with the Titans, but split a lot of snaps with other tight ends. The Tennessee Titans drafted him in the 3rd round out of Florida International University in 2017 and has slowly progressed into a beast of a tight end. He has recorded 67 catches for 797 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons with the Titans.
They didn’t stop with Jonnu Smith on adding weapons for Cam Newton. They also signed Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne this afternoon. First it broke that they were bringing in Nelson Agholor on a 2yr/$26M contract. Not too long after that we found out they would also be bringing in Kendrick Bourne on a 3yr/$22.5M contract. Both receivers aren’t big names but are still definitely an upgrade for what they had last season.
The offense wasn’t the only thing they addressed today either. Right after signing Jonnu Smith it was announced the Patriots had also landed Matthew Judon. The former Ravens agreed to a 4yr/$56M deal with New England with $32M guaranteed. They added Henry Anderson on a 1yr/$7M deal that could be worth up to $11M in incentives.
If you mix these additions in with Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung coming back, the Patriots could really be back in the playoff picture. This year they somehow finished 7-8 even though Cam Newton threw eight touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Newton now has a year under his belt in this system and a lot more talent to throw to so dont be surprised to see another 10-6/11-5 Patriots team next year.