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Smith still in the TE1 conversation after signing with the Pats today?

Patriots signed TE Jonnu Smith, formerly of the Titans, to a four-year, $50 million contract.

The deal includes $31.25 million guaranteed and currently nets Smith, 26 in August, the third-highest average salary among tight ends. Although the Patriots spent two third-round picks on that position last year, Smith is an all-too-obvious candidate to lead New England in targets following a season in which Cam Newton targeted that unit with a league-low 33 passes. Fantasy players should expect Smith to be used in a variety of ways both between the 20s and inside the 10-yard line as an easy top-10 option among his peers.

Mar 15, 2021, 12:59 PM ET
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It took some doing, but the Pats finally landed themselves a starting TE.

I could see lower-end TE1 potential here.

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It's a heck of a lot of money for somebody who only caught 41 passes.  Yes, he had 8 touchdowns.  But 18 of his catches and 5 TDs were in the first four games.  I think I recall him being injured a game or two.  So perhaps his early success shows that the talent is there.  But once again, just like with all Tennessee pass catchers tied to Tannehill, the offensive scheme and reliance on Derrick Henry is a damper on production.

Pats were a good landing spot for him.  Could have seen him in Buffalo too.  Either scenario though, he ends up with a QB who has a propensity to run for those short yards rather than throw.

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He's a TE1 but that's more by default than excitement.  Cam Newtown under center doesn't inspire me but we'll see.  Assuming the Pats draft a QB in the first round there may be some better upside year 2+.  

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Going from the Titans to a team that actually aired it out less often than the Titans (last year) isn’t ideal - but seeing as their current group of receiving options are, as they would say in España, basura, I think Smith immediately becomes the priority target.

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It is just good for him to be outta Ten. NE might not seem like the greatest destination (based mostly on Cam and the passing offense last year) but it is still a big upgrade. They identified Jonnu as the top pass catching priority in FA according to reports. This is a coach and coordinator that know how to build an offense to feature a TE. Cam did have some success throwing to the position before as well.

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1 minute ago, ST. STEVEN said:

It is just good for him to be outta Ten. NE might not seem like the greatest destination (based mostly on Cam and the passing offense last year) but it is still a big upgrade. They identified Jonnu as the top pass catching priority in FA according to reports. This is a coach and coordinator that know how to build an offense to feature a TE. Cam did have some success throwing to the position before as well.

Not only that, Bill was willing to pay him much more (in terms of average per annum) than anyone he’s ever acquired as a receiving threat.

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I imagine they're not done adding skill players, but if they fail to add some more threats, I don't imagine Jonnu is going to be impossible to stop if there's nobody else to focus on

Edited by BrianM
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I wonder of Jonnu was aware of the impending Henry signing?  

I think he could still have value TBH.  Pats are probably going to run a lot of 2 TE sets.  Both Gronk and Hernandez were very productive until...well you know...

Henry gets hurt a lot so he's more likely than not to miss games.   If anything I think this just drops Smith's ADP down and makes him a better value.  I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him finish as the better TE of the two on the year. 

Edited by GottaGetTheWin
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4 minutes ago, GottaGetTheWin said:

I wonder of Jonnu was aware of the impending Henry signing?  

I think he could still have value TBH.  Pats are probably going to run a lot of 2 TE sets.  Both Gronk and Hernandez were very productive until...well you know...

Henry gets hurt a lot so he's more likely than not to miss games.   If anything I think this just drops Smith's ADP down and makes him a better value.  I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him finish as the better TE of the two on the year. 

I don't see either one being a TE1 this year, especially if Cam is the QB. I don't believe the Gronk-Hernandez comparison is a good one because this simply isn't the same offense. 

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28 minutes ago, GottaGetTheWin said:

I wonder of Jonnu was aware of the impending Henry signing?  

I think he could still have value TBH.  Pats are probably going to run a lot of 2 TE sets.  Both Gronk and Hernandez were very productive until...well you know...

Henry gets hurt a lot so he's more likely than not to miss games.   If anything I think this just drops Smith's ADP down and makes him a better value.  I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him finish as the better TE of the two on the year. 


slight difference between Brady and Cam.

 

🤷‍♂️

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4 hours ago, Flyman75 said:

I don't see either one being a TE1 this year, especially if Cam is the QB. I don't believe the Gronk-Hernandez comparison is a good one because this simply isn't the same offense. 

It’s more about the roles Henry and Smith play and not necessarily the offense. Belichick has shown over the years that he will tailor an offense to the strengths of his roster.

Hernandez was a glorified big slot receiver labeled as a TE. He wasn’t blocking anything.

I’m sure one of these two fills the traditional Gronk role well and the other fills the big slot receiver role well. They still need something at receiver though.

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34 minutes ago, devaster said:

It’s more about the roles Henry and Smith play and not necessarily the offense. Belichick has shown over the years that he will tailor an offense to the strengths of his roster.

Hernandez was a glorified big slot receiver labeled as a TE. He wasn’t blocking anything.

I’m sure one of these two fills the traditional Gronk role well and the other fills the big slot receiver role well. They still need something at receiver though.

They picked up Agholor at WR, which is better than what they had, lol. And I'm not sure either Jonnu or Henry are the kind of athlete Hernandez was to fill that second TE role of being more WR than TE. 

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Never in all my years have I witnessed Bill so driven to spend big and quickly in FA - suddenly, they have a lot of mouths to feed: Smith, Henry, Agholor, Bourne, Edelman, Myers, their duo of third-round TEs...interested to see how it all plays out target-share-wise.

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2 minutes ago, Flyman75 said:

They picked up Agholor at WR, which is better than what they had, lol. And I'm not sure either Jonnu or Henry are the kind of athlete Hernandez was to fill that second TE role of being more WR than TE. 

Jonnu is 100% that kind of athlete. He's faster and bigger than Hernandez. He's somewhat undersized for the traditional TE role but his speed and jumping ability all rank in the 80%-95% range for TEs. So he would be a very good candidate to get more run as a route runner. Jonnu is also one of the best guys in the NFL after the catch.

It's an interesting contrast between him and Henry though. Henry is probably a slightly better blocker but neither are great at it. Jonnu is somewhat undersized to take on more of the dirty work and Henry doesn't fair too well in that department either. Jonnu is more electric as a pass catcher but Henry is a safer bet being a better route runner and having better hands. It's not at all a thunder and lightning combo. Both are a mix of both with Jonnu having a bit more lightning and Henry having a bit more thunder.

So all that being said it is very hard to see how the will be used and i'm a bit confused with both of them being signed to the Patriots. That being said, they do need weapons and both guys make quality ones. I'd honestly take my chances with Jonnu later in the draft as well as Henry. The upside is there. 

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1 minute ago, BMcP said:

Never in all my years have I witnessed Bill so driven to spend big and quickly in FA - suddenly, they have a lot of mouths to feed: Smith, Henry, Agholor, Bourne, Edelman, Myers, their duo of third-round TEs...interested to see how it all plays out target-share-wise.

They don't have a ton of mouths to feel though. Agholor is a deep threat who will help open things up more than anything and he isn't going to be stealing RZ targets or a lot of targets in general. Edelman is getting older and had knee issues all year. He is more likely to be washed than he is to return anywhere near his old form. Bourne and Myers are nothing special at all and would have been WR3 to even WR4 on other teams but got thrust into a role due to terrible weapons.

Smith and Henry are both probably the most reliable weapons on the team now. 

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5 minutes ago, Gohawks said:

Jonnu is 100% that kind of athlete. He's faster and bigger than Hernandez. He's somewhat undersized for the traditional TE role but his speed and jumping ability all rank in the 80%-95% range for TEs. So he would be a very good candidate to get more run as a route runner. Jonnu is also one of the best guys in the NFL after the catch.

It's an interesting contrast between him and Henry though. Henry is probably a slightly better blocker but neither are great at it. Jonnu is somewhat undersized to take on more of the dirty work and Henry doesn't fair too well in that department either. Jonnu is more electric as a pass catcher but Henry is a safer bet being a better route runner and having better hands. It's not at all a thunder and lightning combo. Both are a mix of both with Jonnu having a bit more lightning and Henry having a bit more thunder.

So all that being said it is very hard to see how the will be used and i'm a bit confused with both of them being signed to the Patriots. That being said, they do need weapons and both guys make quality ones. I'd honestly take my chances with Jonnu later in the draft as well as Henry. The upside is there. 

Well, might be semantics, but bigger and faster doesn't make him the athlete Hernandez was. And I wasn't trying to speak in absolutes about Hernandez vs Jonnu...Smith may very well be every bit the athlete Hernandez was and just hasn't had the opportunity to show it. But when I watch Jonnu, I see a TE moving like a TE. Fast for sure, but Hernandez was just different. I remember him moving like a WR and remember him even being referred to more as a huge slot WR than an actual TE. Even if Jonnu is the same type athlete, this isn't the same offense and the GOAT isn't QBing the Pats, so it's still an apples-oranges deal to me. 

We're definitely in agreement with the two being signed. The perplexing part for me is Henry signing with them after Jonnu signed. I guess I envisioned Henry signing somewhere that would make him the cut-and-dry lead TE. Maybe NE has talked to both of them and told them that Jonnu will be split out into a slot position more than a TE position, leaving Henry as more of the traditional TE? 

My initial reaction is that this is terrible for both in fantasy terms, but maybe it works itself out. 

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7 minutes ago, Gohawks said:

They don't have a ton of mouths to feel though. Agholor is a deep threat who will help open things up more than anything and he isn't going to be stealing RZ targets or a lot of targets in general. Edelman is getting older and had knee issues all year. He is more likely to be washed than he is to return anywhere near his old form. Bourne and Myers are nothing special at all and would have been WR3 to even WR4 on other teams but got thrust into a role due to terrible weapons.

Smith and Henry are both probably the most reliable weapons on the team now. 

I’m just referring to the sheer volume of pass-catchers they’re currently rostering (didn’t even mention their first-rounder Harry).  If they’re running mainly 2TE sets, how often are all these guys going to see the field?  And as you pointed out, they’re going to need at least one TE capable of pass-blocking.  It just seems like a lot of partakers of a minuscule pie.

Edited by BMcP
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34 minutes ago, BMcP said:

Never in all my years have I witnessed Bill so driven to spend big and quickly in FA - suddenly, they have a lot of mouths to feed: Smith, Henry, Agholor, Bourne, Edelman, Myers, their duo of third-round TEs...interested to see how it all plays out target-share-wise.

Yep, all this, and i still think they'll run more than the average NFL team as long as Cam is under center.   

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