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NFL Free Agency: Will New England Patriots pursue Hunter Henry?

New York Jets v Los Angeles Chargers
New York Jets v Los Angeles Chargers
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 20 Feb 2021
Rumors
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Hunter Henry is a popular name among NFL circles, as the talented tight end is poised to land on a team ready to contend for a championship, based on his comments. While Henry has not ruled out a reunion with the Los Angeles Chargers, the 26-year-old former Arkansas Razorback has declared that he is open to any team with a quality quarterback calling the signals.

The New England Patriots could be the perfect spot for Hunter Henry, depending on their quarterback situation. New England brought in Cam Newton for a yearlong experiment that resulted in the Patriots missing the playoffs entirely, and neither New England or Newton himself are expected to have much interest in running it back next season.

If New England is able to land a highly-touted quarterback, whether it be through free agency, the trade market, or the NFL Draft, the Patriots and Henry could be a perfect pairing.

NFL Free Agency: Will Hunter Henry be a New England Patriot?

New York Jets v New England Patriots
New York Jets v New England Patriots

Hunter Henry is considered one of the more talented tight ends in the league, and although he has battled injury woes, Henry still managed to accumulate his second-highest career regular season yardage total, with 613 yards through the air in the 2020 season.

This total was good for an average of 10.2 yards per reception, his lowest in any season yet. This variance is easily explained by the fact that Hunter Henry had more receptions in 2020 with 60 than he did in any prior year. In Henry's rookie season, where he had his highest average yards per reception with 13.3, he only had 36 catches, just over half of his total from 2020.

Hunter Henry would provide an instant upgrade to the Patriots' receiving corps, an area where they desperately need assistance. New England used three tight ends over the course of the 2020 season, and the three of them only contributed 18 combined receptions to the team total, with only one touchdown between the three. Henry scored 4 touchdowns this season, and his 60 receptions surpasses the 59-reception mark held by Jakobi Meyers, the leading receiver for the Patriots.

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New England fans are used to quality tight end play, and the pain of watching old Patriot legends Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski meet up for a Super Bowl victory wearing any other uniform besides the famed Patriot blue and silver combination is sure to have left Pats fans clamboring for an upgrade to the pivotal position, with Hunter Henry as an attractive option.

Although the Chargers have ample cap space and reasoning to bring Hunter Henry back alongside young quarterback Justin Herbert, if Henry feels that New England's new quarterback has the potential to lead the squad back to the top of the AFC East, the temptation to switch franchises might be too strong to resist.

Published 20 Feb 2021, 11:12 IST
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