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Pats Double Down on Tight Ends

The New England Patriots continued their free agent shopping spree by agreeing to terms with tight end Hunter Henry

When they agreed to terms with Jonnu Smith on Monday, the New England Patriots landed one of the top two tight ends in the 2021 free agent market.

They picked up the other one Tuesday.

Pending unrestricted free agent Hunter Henry agreed to terms with the Patriots on a three-year contract worth $37.5 million with $25 million in guarantees, according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.

By most evaluations, it was Henry who was rated as the No. 1 tight end available in free agency after the Los Angeles Chargers decided against using the franchise tag on him, as many analysts had suggested they might do.

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A second-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Henry started 49 of the 55 games he played with the Chargers and was a consistently reliable factor in the passing game.

He averaged 49 catches in the four seasons he actually played — he missed the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL sustained during offseason workouts.

He set a career high with 60 catches last season, had a career-high 652 receiving yards in 2019 and had a career-best 13.3 average and eight touchdowns as a rookie in 2016.

Henry has never made the Pro Bowl, but he clearly belongs near the top of the second tier of NFL tight ends behind the elite players like Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and George Kittle.

With Henry joining Smith, the Patriots have turned a clear weakness on their roster into the best tandem in the NFL.