After agreeing to bring back Cam Newton on a one-year deal last week, the New England Patriots have gotten him some help by signing tight end Jonnu Smith and wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. The team also agreed to a deals with defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, defensive end Matt Judon and cornerback Jalen Mills.
Smith's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN's Adam Schefter that his client will receive a four-year deal worth up to $50 million ($31.25 million guaranteed) from the Patriots.
Schefter reported that Agholor's deal is valued at $26 million over two years.
Bourne will be on the books for $22.5 million over three years, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Judon's deal is for four years with $32 million guaranteed and up to $56 million total.
Per Schefter, Rosenhaus confirmed Mills has a four-year, $24 million ($9 million guaranteed) agreement with New England.
New England opened free agency with $71.75 million in cap space, per Spotrac.
Patriots' Updated Depth Chart (via OurLads.com)
QB: Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Jacob Dolegala
RB: Sony Michel, Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden, Jakob Johnson, J.J. Taylor
FB: Danny Vitale
WR: Julian Edelman, Nelson Agholor, N'Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Marqise Lee, Matthew Slater, Quincy Adeboyejo, Gunner Olszewski, Donte Moncrief, Kristian Wilkerson
TE: Jonnu Smith, Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse, Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Rashod Berry
LT: Isaiah Wynn, Yodny Cajuste, Justin Herron
LG: Mike Onwenu, Najee Toran
RG: Shaq Mason, Ross Reynolds
RT: Trent Brown, Korey Cunningham
DE: Matt Judon, Nick Thurman, Tashawn Bower
NT: Davon Godchaux, Byron Cowart, Beau Allen, Bill Murray
DT: Akeem Spence
OLB: Brandon King, Michael Pinckney, Chase Winovich
LB: Dont'a Hightower, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Anfernee Jennings, Josh Uche, Cassh Maluia, Terez Hall
CB: Stephon Gilmore, Jalen Mills, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams, J.C. Jackson, Michael Jackson, D'Angelo Ross
S: Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Adrian Phillips, Justin Bethel, Kyle Dugger, Myles Bryant
K: Justin Rohrwasser, Roberto Aguayo
P: Jake Bailey
Newton's contract with the Patriots includes a $1.5 million base salary and can reach $14 million with incentives. The 2015 NFL MVP is looking for a rebound season after a disappointing 2020 in which he finished with 2,657 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The Patriots did take advantage of Newton's running ability. He finished tied for fourth in the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns and had 592 yards on 137 carries. Even though the team can still add a quarterback, potentially in the draft, Newton gives head coach Bill Belichick a safety net at the position.
Smith is a big-bodied tight end who scored eight touchdowns with the Tennessee Titans last year. He can serve as Newton's safety net, similar to Greg Olsen's role when he and Newton were teammates with the Carolina Panthers.
Tight end was a black hole for the Patriots in 2020. Ryan Izzo was their most productive player at the position with 13 receptions and 199 yards in 12 games.
Similarly, the Patriots struggled at wide receiver, especially after their top receiver in 2019, Julian Edelman, was limited to six games due to injuries. Instead, they depended on 729 yards from Meyers, who failed to find the end zone, and 604 yards and one touchdown from Damiere Byrd, who is a free agent.
Agholor is a welcome boost to the group, fresh off of a career season in Las Vegas, where he posted 896 yards and eight touchdowns.
He'll be helped by Bourne, who joins New England off four consistent seasons in San Francisco, where he struggled to crack the starting lineup but was a constant presence since joining the group when he went undrafted out of Eastern Washington. He had a career year in 2020, appearing in 15 games and posting 667 yards and two touchdowns on a career-best 49-of-74 receiving.
Judon spent the past five seasons with the Baltimore Ravens after being a fifth-round draft pick out of Grand Valley State in 2016. He is coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons and has recorded 34.5 sacks in 76 career games.
The Patriots' 24 sacks last season were tied with the Detroit Lions for 26th in the NFL.
Mills adds depth to a secondary that still has Stephon Gilmore and only allowed 222.3 passing yards per game in 2020. The 26-year-old went from a seventh-round draft pick in 2016 to a starter on the Philadelphia Eagles defense when they won a Super Bowl in 2017. He recorded a career-high 74 combined tackles and five quarterback hits last year.
Godchaux is an upside play for the Patriots defense after spending four years with the Miami Dolphins. He missed the final 11 games last season with a biceps injury. The 26-year-old had a career-high seven quarterback hits and led the NFL in run stops during the 2019 season, per Pro Football Focus (h/t NESN's Zack Cox).
New England had the league's seventh-worst run defense with 131.4 yards allowed per game in 2020.