Jonnu Smith, Patriots Agree to 4-Year, $50M Contract with $31.25M Guaranteed

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

The New England Patriots have agreed to sign free-agent tight end Jonnu Smith to a four-year deal worth $50 million, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus, who informed ESPN's Adam Schefter of the terms Monday.

Jonnu Smith @Easymoney_81

All I know is work. @Patriots let’s get to it.

Per Rosenhaus, Smith's deal includes $31.25 million in guaranteed money.

The 2017 third-round pick is coming off a career year after replacing Delanie Walker as the Tennessee Titans' primary tight end.

Smith ranked third on the Titans with 41 catches for 448 yards, both of which were career highs. He also grabbed eight touchdown receptions to rank fourth in the NFL among tight ends.

Tennessee was also creative getting him the ball. He totaled 78 rushing yards and two touchdowns on four carries in 2019 and added another rushing score this past season.

The 25-year-old might not have huge receiving games, but he is a weapon around the goal line and a tough player to bring down at 6'3" and 248 pounds. His blocking ability also helped Derrick Henry win a rushing title for the second straight season.

Beyond Smith's game-day production, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has heaped plenty of praise on the tight end, saying in September: "He continues to improve, he's a great teammate, he's an unbelievable player to coach and to be around every day."

After seeing steady improvements over his first four seasons, he has cashed in as a free agent.

Smith will now try to help the Patriots with his pass catching and blocking, and he should give a significant boost to their red-zone efficiency.

Tennessee had the No. 4 scoring attack in the NFL last year, but the unit could take a step back without a key player after offensive coordinator Arthur Smith also left for the Atlanta Falcons.