The New England Patriots have signed yet another top tight end in free agency, agreeing to terms with former Los Angeles Chargers ace Hunter Henry. The deal between Henry and the Patriots is three-years, $37.5 million with $25 million guaranteed.
The New England Patriots have now signed both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, the two best tight ends available this offseason. Bill Belichick now has two tight ends on his offense that can block and catch with great efficiency.
The New England Patriots' incredible splash on receivers and tight ends in free agency suggests the team will likely pick a quarterback with the number 15 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. University of Florida tight end Kyle Pitts has been the projected pick for the Patriots in almost every mock draft this offseason. However, the acquisition of Henry and Smith rules out the Patriots using their first-round pick on a tight end.
Let's take a look at how Hunter Henry will help the New England Patriots offense in the 2021-2022 NFL season.
NFL Free Agency: How does Hunter Henry help the New England Patriots offense in 2021?
Drafted by the Chargers in 2016, Hunter Henry caught 36 passes for 478 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie season. Henry started 49 out of the 55 games he played for the Chargers over the last five seasons and caught 69% of the passes thrown his way.
Hunter Henry's numbers in the passing game are among the best for tight ends. The 26-year-old also has a reliable set of hands, having dropped only six passes over the past two seasons. Henry's production from the tight end position is something the Patriots have not had since Rob Gronkowski left.
Hunter Henry's Career Stats
-- Receptions: 196
-- Receiving yards: 2,322 yards
-- Touchdowns: 21
Hunter Henry averaged 11.8 yards per reception and racked up 226 YAC (yards after catch) during the 2020 NFL season. Hunter Henry will be the number one target in the passing game for the New England Patriots. He could also be the one piece that takes the Patriots back to the NFL playoffs in 2021.