Report: Hunter Henry, Patriots Agree on $37.5M Contract After Jonnu Smith Deal

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 16, 2021

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry (86) reacts after a play against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

Hunter Henry is on the move after agreeing to a deal with the New England Patriots on Wednesday.     

Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Henry will leave the Los Angeles Chargers to sign a three-year, $37.5 million pact ($25 million guaranteed) with the Patriots. 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

They say a picture is worth a thousand words....or $37.5 million. https://t.co/o4hjiH4Lue

Missing the playoffs last season doesn't appear to have sat well with Bill Belichick. The Patriots opened the legal tampering period Monday by agreeing to deals with tight end Jonnu Smith, wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, linebacker Matt Judon, safety Jalen Mills, defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Henry Anderson and defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.

Those moves came after the Patriots agreed to re-sign Cam Newton to a one-year deal last week, per Jim McBride of the Boston Globe

Henry played last season on the one-year franchise tender worth $10.6 million. He will pair with Smith as New England's top two tight ends. 

Field Yates @FieldYates

Patriots tight ends over the past two seasons: Catches: 65 (last in the NFL, 32 fewer than the next) Yards: 673 (last NFL, 182 fewer than the next) Targets: 87 (last NFL, 33 fewer than the next) TDs: 3 (last NFL, 2 fewer than the next) Enter Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.

Per Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times in April 2020, the expectation was that Henry and the Chargers would keep negotiating until the July 15 deadline with the hope of working out a multiyear pact. 

Even though no deal materialized, Henry assembled another solid season. He finished second on the team with 60 receptions and ranked third with 613 receiving yards and four touchdowns. 

Henry established himself as an essential piece of the Chargers offense after being selected No. 35 overall in the 2016 NFL draft. The Arkansas alum took over for Antonio Gates as the primary tight end during his rookie season. 

Henry is only 26 years old and is a matchup problem at 6'5" and 250 pounds, so if nothing else, he should rack up a lot of red-zone touchdowns. 

Newton's been keen on targeting tight ends throughout his career. Greg Olsen was often his favorite target when he was with the Carolina Panthers, and Smith and Henry could thrive if Newton starts.