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Report: Jonnu Smith to sign with New England Patriots

Former Titans TE Jonnu Smith has agreed to a four-year, $50 million deal with the New England Patriots

Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith (81) points to the sky after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at Nissan Stadium.  Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent tight end Jonnu Smith has found a new home, and a new opportunity to compete on a team in desperate need of receiving weapons and an established history with notable tight ends. Though the signing will not become official until Wednesday, Jonnu Smith has agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract with the New England Patriots per his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. The deal includes $31.25 million fully guaranteed.

It came as a bit of a surprise when the Tennessee Titans opted not to use the franchise tag on Smith after a productive 2020 season that saw him eight touchdowns, the second-most on the team of any pass catcher. Smith has gotten better each of his four years in the league and the tight end will be hoping to make an even bigger impact for his new team as he heads into his age-26 season.

Smith has played a significant role for Titans in his four seasons with the team, though it hasn’t translated to a season of consistent production for fantasy football. Smith finished as the TE16 in PPR scoring formats in the 2020 NFL season with 448 receiving yards and 8 TDs. He’ll have all of the opportunity he could dream of with the Patriots moving forward, particularly as a receiver. Second-year undrafted wideout Jakobi Meyers led the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards in 2020 while he didn’t score a single touchdown on the season. This is the best fit for fantasy football managers that we could have projected this offseason.

Heading into the league’s 2019 post-season, Bill Belichick was quoted speaking highly of Smith, saying, “I can’t imagine anyone better than him after the catch.” That’s big-time praise from a man who is typically of few words.