Patriots sign free agent tight end Jonnu Smith to four-year contract

The New England Patriots will sign free agent tight end Jonnu Smith to a 4-year, $50 million deal with $31.25 million in guaranteed money.

What It Means:

The Patriots had arguably the worst pass-catching group in the league during the 2020 season, and the team clearly made upgrading their offense a priority by signing Smith to a 4-year deal. Smith has a good chance of usurping wide receiver Julian Edelman as the Pats' top pass-catcher this season.

Smith offers elite athleticism at the tight end position, and, as coach Bill Belichick noted previously, is one of the best tight ends in the league at generating yards after the catch; Smith averaged 5.8 yards after the catch per reception this past season, the eighth-best mark in the league. Smith could be in for a massive fantasy season with the Patriots in 2021.