Patriots projected to sign tight end Hunter Henry in free agency

Hunter Henry, Cardinals, Chargers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots were shockingly bounced out of the NFL playoffs in the Wild Card Round by the Tennessee Titans. That loss, along with other things, have caused rumors to sprout about Tom Brady possibly leaving town. If that does end up happening, the Patriots could be in for a bit of a rebuilding process.

However, there is also a good chance that Brady decides that he doesn’t want to tarnish his legacy by finishing his career with a team other than the Patriots. Keeping him is a priority for New England and adding a big target at tight end could help their cause.

Rob Gronkowski was an absolute monster during his years playing with Brady. In 2019, the Patriots struggled at the position and it hurt them in a big way.

Pro Football Focus has the answer for New England, projecting the Patriots to sign Los Angeles Chargers’ impending free agent tight end Hunter Henry.

The first domino of getting TB12 back to New England might just be bringing in one of the league’s most underrated tight ends, Hunter Henry. In his first two seasons in the NFL back in 2016 and 2017, Henry produced a two-year receiving grade that trailed only Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. After missing 2018 and Weeks 2 through 5 of 2019 due to injury, Henry came and finished the remainder of the year ranking 13th in receiving grade. He isn’t Gronk, but he can line up inline, in the slot or out wide and dominate his opponent better than most tight ends.

Henry put together a solid all-around season for the Chargers in 2019 despite four games. He caught 55 passes for 652 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers would rise if he was playing alongside Brady.

New England’s offense has always utilized tight ends well under Josh McDaniels. Henry’s role would be much better than it has ever been with the Chargers.

While the Patriots would make a lot of sense as a landing spot for Henry in free agency, there will be other teams with interest in him as well. He is going to get a major pay raise and will be a lethal weapon for whoever signs him.

Expect to hear more teams mentioned in rumors connected to Henry. He is just 25 years old and has a ton of room to grow. New England is hoping that he grows within their heralded system.