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2021 NFL Free Agency: TE Hunter Henry Joins Patriots

2021 NFL Free Agency: TE Hunter Henry Joins Patriots article feature image

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 08: Hunter Henry #86 of the Los Angeles Chargers catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 08, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

New England has taken the two top free agent tight ends off the market.

Former Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has agreed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract with $25 million guaranteed with the Patriots, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday.

The news comes on the heels of a number of high-profile signings on Monday, including the addition of former Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, who agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal.

The Chargers applied the franchise tag on Henry ahead of the 2020 season for one year, $10.6 million.

The 26-year-old initially joined the then-San Diego Chargers as a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The consensus All-American from Arkansas scored a whopping eight touchdowns in his first season, the fifth most by a rookie tight end in NFL history. 

Henry has been hampered by a number of injuries throughout his career that have forced him to miss 25 regular-season games through five years. He suffered a knee injury and lacerated kidney at the end of the 2017 season, a torn ACL during OTAs in 2018 that kept him out all year and a tibia fracture in 2019 that sidelined him for multiple games.

Henry is coming off one of his best seasons to date. He reeled in a career-high 60 catches for 613 yards and four touchdowns through 14 games and finished as a top 12 tight end for fantasy.

Offensive weapons have been an ongoing weakness for the Patriots, which they have made a clear effort to address during this busy free agency period. Henry joins Smith, as well as receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne as new additions to the New England pass-catchers.

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