Patriots Sign Hunter Henry: The New England Patriots signed free-agent tight end Hunter Henry to a three-year, $37.5 million deal ($25 million guaranteed).
- Keep track of all 2021 NFL Free-Agent Signings & Franchise Tags.
- Read the rest of our 2021 NFL offseason and 2021 NFL Draft coverage.
Patriots Sign Hunter Henry
The Patriots continued their onslaught on free agency, upgrading their pass-catching corps by signing Hunter Henry.
This is a team that had quite possibly the worst skills group in football, so an infusion of talent was absolutely essential. Henry joins fellow tight end Jonnu Smith and wide receivers Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers (and maybe Julian Edelman, if his knee injury isn’t career-ending or he signs elsewhere) as well as running back Damien Harris in what should be an improved New England offense.
Henry is another athletic tight end who can get loose downfield and make a major impact in the red zone. He’s coming off a decent season, catching 60-of-93 targets for 613 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll be entering his age-27 season competing for targets with Smith and Agholor in an offense that should mostly line up with two tight ends and two wide receivers.
The Pats can now use Newton as the goal-line back or have him focus on firing play-action passes to Henry or Smith in the end-zone. Agholor will help take the top off the defense and Bourne will make an impact in run-blocking.
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. Henry and Smith are going to give opposing defenses major headaches in the red-zone, bringing back memories of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Let’s also 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.