Patriots Sign Jonnu Smith & Nelson Agholor: The New England Patriots signed free-agent tight end Jonnu Smith and wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Smith’s deal is worth $50 million over four years with $31.25 million fully guaranteed, while Agholor signed a two-year, $26 million deal.
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Patriots Sign Jonnu Smith & Nelson Agholor
The Patriots upgraded their pass-catching corps by signing Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor. This is a team that had quite possibly the worst skills group in football, so an infusion of talent was absolutely essential. Smith and Agholor join wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (and maybe Julian Edelman, if his knee injury isn’t career-ending or he signs elsewhere) and running back Damien Harris in what should be an improved New England offense.
Smith is an athletic tight end who can make big plays after the catch and wreak havoc in the red zone. He’s coming off a solid season where he caught 41-of-65 targets for 448 yards and eight touchdowns for a run-heavy Titans offense. He’ll be entering his age-26 season as the top option in this passing game.
Agholor revived his career with the Las Vegas Raiders last season, posting 48 receptions for 896 yards and eight touchdowns on 82 targets. He gives the Pats a much-needed deep threat on the perimeter. Agholor also has experience working in the slot.
Smith provides this offense with a legitimate red-zone threat. The Pats can now use Cam as the goal-line back or have him focus on firing play-action passes to Smith in the end-zone. Agholor will help take the top off the defense.
The Pats also signed wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, who is a solid possession receiver and strong run-blocker. They brought back offensive tackle Trent Brown as well. We should see significant improvement on offense in 2021.
Patriots 2021 NFL Betting Outlook
Patriots to win AFC East (+450)
Patriots to win Super Bowl 56 (+3000)
With their skill-player additions, the Patriots should be a much-improved team in 2021. Cam Newton will have a full offseason to get more comfortable in this offense. He’ll also have a much more talented group of pass-catchers with these signings. Let’s remember that Cam was significantly affected by COVID-19 in the 2020 season.
On defense, the Pats signed edge-rusher Matthew Judon, nose-tackle Davon Godchaux, and defensive-back Jalen Mills. They’ll also get back linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive-back Patrick Chung from the COVID reserve list. The Pats defense looks poised to return to form as one of the better units in the NFL.
The Patriots are absolutely worth a look as AFC East division winners in 2021. The team has already improved in each facet of the game on Day 1 of free agency. They have the pieces in place to challenge the Bills for a division title. I would also recommend putting a small bet on the Pats to win the Super Bowl. Don’t underestimate Bill Belichick with a chip on his shoulder.