Hunter Henry is poised to be one of the top free agent tight ends available this offseason and a slew of teams will likely be knocking down his door trying to sign him. Henry, a career Los Angeles Charger to this point, has proven he can stay on the field this season and could score a massive contract from a needy team.
At 26 years old, he has struggled with injuries in the past which could shy some teams away from taking a chance on the five-year veteran, but overall he brings a lot more to the table that an occasional injury shouldn’t prevent. Henry is a very aggressive blocker, which is what scouts love about him most.
Henry is also very good with the ball in his hands as he’s proven in his career thus far. Henry, through 55 career games, has logged 196 receptions, 2,322 receiving yards, 11.8 yards per reception, 133 first downs, and 21 receiving touchdowns.
He would give a needy team a great dual threat weapon at the tight end position and a team that already has a solid tight end to back him up could form a scary tandem.
Here’s a look at five potential landing spots for Hunter Henry.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers absolutely need a tight end and Hunter Henry could be their guy. Sure, Robert Tonyan had a breakout season for the Packers, but he is certainly not the team’s long-term answer at the position. Tonyan played in all 16 games for the Packers in 2020 and logged 52 receptions, 586 receiving yards, 11.3 yards per reception, and 11 receiving touchdowns.
A tight end tandem of Hunter Henry and Robert Tonyan would be very hard to contain, especially given the noticeably better blocking by Henry. The number one seed in the NFC, the Packers really don’t need much help on their team, but additional pass catchers for Aaron Rodgers is certainly on the list of things they do need.
Obviously, Henry isn’t a wide receiver, but adding another tight end target for Rodgers to throw to never hurt anyone. The Packers are already in Super Bowl contention this season, but by adding another tight end in Henry, they could stay in contention for years to come.
One of the biggest needs the Dallas Cowboys have outside of their current quarterback situation is a tight end. The Cowboys currently have Dalton Schultz and Blake Bell at the tight end position and that simply isn’t going to cut it.
Schultz, 24, is a solid tight end to add with a veteran, but having him as the number one guy is no bueno. Schultz hauled in 63 passes for 615 receiving yards and four touchdowns this season, but combining him with Hunter Henry would be a lethal tight end duo. Henry and Schultz have a similar play style, which is why the Cowboys could pursue Henry this offseason.
If the Cowboys brought in Henry to be their starting tight end, it would make their offense a lot more dynamic. Yes, they have a solid player in Schultz, but he doesn’t bring the same level of talent that Henry does. Schultz would be able to learn a lot from Henry, which is what could make them a killer duo in the lone star state.
The Arizona Cardinals may need a tight end more so than any other team in the NFL. The Cardinals, who are being led by Dan Arnold and Maxx Williams in that position, missed out on the playoffs largely due to their offense being very one dimensional.
Sure, Kyler Murray has an insane ability to run the ball, which is what kept the Cardinals in a lot of football games, but not having a reliable tight end to throw to allowed the defense to spy Murray and double team their wide receivers. Now that Larry Fitzgerald announced his retirement from the NFL, they’re desperately going to need a more productive player at the tight end position and there may not be a guy who fits their needs better than Hunter Henry.
Henry is an excellent blocker, which is great for when Arizona wants to run the ball, and he can also haul in the difficult balls. Henry would be an excellent guy to spend some money on if the team wants to speed up the development of young signal caller Murray, which is a move they just might make.
Much like the Packers, this Buffalo Bills team doesn’t have too many weaknesses. One area that could certainly use some fine tuning is the tight end position. The Bills are being led by Dawson Knox and Tyler Kroft at the tight end position and Hunter Henry would give Josh Allen yet another weapon to build around.
As it stands right now, many people have the Bills as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, but it will be hard for them to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs. If the Bills had a guy like Henry on the team, knocking off a team like the Chiefs would be much easier.
The Bills have some money this offseason that they could wisely use to invest in making their team better in hopes of winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history. A guy they should look at signing is Henry, due to how much he would help their offense grow.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots played the entire 2020 season without having a tight end catch more than 13 passes. The only tight end on the team that caught 13 passes was Ryan Izzo, who spent the majority of the season on injured reserve. The Patriots could use a player like Hunter Henry to help ignite their offense.
The Patriots viewed the quarterback position as the team’s biggest problem this season when in reality it was everyone around him that was the problem. The Patriots also had a league high eight players opt out of the season due to COVID-19 related concerns, which also didn’t help their case.
If the Patriots made a big move by adding Henry to their offense to pair along with whatever quarterback they bring in, they could get right back to their winning ways.
Sure, Henry is no Rob Gronkowski, but he is about as good as they’d be able to get this offseason. Henry would be able to do everything the Patriots need him to do, which they should be ecstatic about. If the Patriots make one big splash in free agency, it should be the signing of Henry.