Just two offseasons ago, the Patriots signed Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith to lucrative deals, which got many believing that New England had one of the best tight end duos in the NFL. Between injuries and being underutilized in New England’s offense, that failed experiment officially reached its end on Monday, at least for Smith.
The Patriots agreed to trade Smith to the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round pick, per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. The former big-ticket free agent will reunite with an “old friend” in Atlanta. Falcons’ head coach Arthur Smith served as Jonnu Smith’s position coach and offensive coordinator during their time together with the Tennesee Titans.
It's for a 7th rounder, source said. Arthur Smith lands an old friend. https://t.co/p8Rm4VtoWM
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2023
Smith, who signed a four-year, $50 million deal with the Patriots in March 2021, has agreed to rework his contract with the Falcons to make it much more team-friendly, according to Rapoport.
The 27-year-old Smith played in 30 games across two seasons in New England, hauling in just 55 receptions with 539 receiving yards and one touchdown. Playing behind Henry as New England’s No. 2 tight end this past season, Smith finished 2022 with 27 catches for 245 yards.
Across four seasons in Tennessee, Smith had 114 receptions with 1,302 receiving yards and 16 receiving touchdowns. He’ll look to replicate those numbers with the Falcons, as he reunites with his former position coach and joins a tight end room that includes Kyle Pitts.
[Ian Rapoport on Twitter]