Patriots Reach Long-Term Deal With Veteran Free Agent

By Jason Hall

March 15, 2021

The New England Patriots continue to have a busy offseason.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Patriots have reached an agreement with former Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith on a four-year, $50 million deal, which includes $31.25 million fully guaranteed, Smith's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed.

Smith was the Titans' primary tight end option during the 2020 season, which included a career-best eight touchdowns, ranking second on the team, as well as 41 receptions for 448 yards.

The 25-year-old enjoyed an impressive start to the season with five touchdowns in his first four games before being limited by an ankle injury in October. Smith also transitioned into more of a blocking role amid the injury of star left tackle Taylor Lewan, which showcased his versatility by successfully blocking against top defensive ends, despite a dip in statistical production.

Smith was selected by the Titans in the third-round of the 2017 NFL Draft and recorded 114 receptions for 1,302 yards and 16 touchdowns during his four seasons with the franchise. The 25-year-old also had six rushing attempts for 82 yards, which included a 57-yard touchdown against the Houston Texans in 2019.

New England has already agreed to a one-year contract with starting quarterback Cam Newton and re-acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders pending a one-year contract agreement with Brown worth up to $11 million.

Brown, 27, started for the Patriots in every game during the 2018 NFL season, which resulted in the franchise's most recent Super Bowl victory, before signing with the Raiders the following offseason.

Photo: Getty Images

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