Jonnu Smith is one of the first big names involved in free agency. The tight end has penned a $50 million deal with just over $30 million guaranteed with the New England Patriots. A former Tennessee Titan is the next player to be drawn in by Bill Belichick and the Patriot way. After a poor 2020 season, the Patriots are in desperate need of some weapons. It began to become apparent that New England was lacking in pass catchers in 2019, but after Cam Newton only had eight passing touchdowns in 2020 the time is now to upgrade.
Jonnu Smith is a big tight end who has improved his receiving yards and touchdowns each year he has been in the league. After being drafted with the 100th pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Jonnu Smith started his career in Tennessee. Failing to rack up the stats in his first couple of seasons playing behind Delanie Walker, Smith finally improved in 2019. He totaled 439 yards and three scores but boasted a 79.5% catch rate. Security at the tight end is a quarterback’s best friend and something that Cam Newton is bound to value.
Jonnu Smith Is A Patriot
Jonnu Smith has become the third highest-paid tight end in the NFL just hours after the legal tampering period began. In 2020, Smith racked up 41 catches, 448 yards, and eight touchdowns. When you compare that to the current Patriot tight ends, the need for a big move becomes very apparent.
Through a combined six seasons Ryan Izzo, Dalton Keene, Matt LaCosse, and Devin Asiasi combined for 37 catches, 499 yards, and only three touchdowns. New England has dearly missed the presence of Rob Gronkowski and will be hoping Jonnu Smith can bring back the glory years of tight ends in Foxborough.
Is there anyone happier than Cam Newton right now? Finally, he has a reliable player at the tight end position that he can get the ball to and not have to worry. Smith boats a healthy rate and has been very reliable during his NFL tenure. Newton excelled when he was a Panther and got to hook up with Greg Olsen, it’s only fair to give your former MVP Quarterback the same in New England.
In 2020, Jonnu Smith was only bested by Travis Kelce at the tight end position and no-one can blame him for that. With the coaching of Belichick and a full offseason to work with Newton, Jonnu Smith could mount a challenge to Kelce’s throne.
Jonnu Smith is obviously highly thought of by the New England Patriots as they have made him their second-highest-paid free agent ever, behind only Stephon Gilmore. If Newton can get the best out of Smith he could become one of the best tight ends in the league for years to come.
Jonnu Smith Fantasy Relevance
If you are in fantasy leagues go get Jonnu Smith. When he was with the Tennessee Titans he had to sit back and watch as Derrick Henry racked up the points and the stats in fantasy. If it wasn’t Henry then it was their wide receiver (who is built like a tight end) A.J. Brown that was getting all the targets. In New England however, Jonnu Smith is set to be the number one target. Much like Kelce in Arrowhead, the New England offense should run through Smith in the 2021 season.
His fantasy output has improved year after year and going to an offense that doesn’t have a dominant run game and doesn’t have any dominant wide receivers, outside of Julian Edelman, should only make his fantasy value rocket. Averaging 6.8 yards after the catch in his first four seasons in the league makes Jonnu Smith a TE1 in almost all fantasy formats.
Unless New England makes some more big moves at the receiver positions, Smith has the chance to be the reception leader in New England. If that happens he could have the same sort of impact Kelce has and win plenty of people their fantasy leagues.
First Jonnu Smith Now What?
As New England continues to rebuild after their worst season in 20 years they have been extremely busy at the start of free agency. As well as Jonnu Smith, the Patriots have also come to terms with the former nose tackle from the Miami Dolphins, Davon Godchaux. A two-year deal worth up to $16 million sees the former Dolphin suit up for his former divisional rivals. Any team that has a losing record normally has a sub-par defense and the Patriots are no different.
Despite suffering a bicep injury in 2020 Godchaux should come back stronger and can eat up space from the defensive line. With good size, he will command respect from any offensive line and make it easier for New England to pressure opposing quarterbacks.
Speaking of pressuring opposing quarterbacks the next position that New England should shore up is the linebacker position. With players Matt Judon‘s recent signing with the Patriots too, Belichick appears to be throwing money around this offseason.
Free Agency Has Begun
Jonnu Smith is the first big name to sign for a new team in free agency and looks likely to be an instant star in New England. A reliable pass catcher and a more than competent blocker in the run game will be a huge addition to an offense that struggled in 2020. Cam Newton gets a new weapon to play with and Patriots fans finally get a tight end that they can be excited about. Something they haven’t had since Rob Gronkowski retired….wait a minute.
After watching the former Patriot lift a Lombardi for another team, Smith will need to perform well and quickly if he wants to help the loyal Patriot fans get over a traumatic 2020.
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