This past week it was announced that new Patriots’ tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry would be amongst those joining the tight end summit this summer in Nashville, Tennessee:
“TEU” as they are known, is a summit for tight ends that was organized by George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, and former NFL tight end Greg Olsen. The summit will be designed to “uniTE” tight ends across the league.
Joining Smith, Henry, and the the founders of the summit are Darren Waller, Kyle Pitts, Mark Andrews, Mike Gesicki, Zach Ertz, and Noah Fant, amongst others.
Smith arrived in New England on the opening day of free agency, as the Patriots inked him to a four-year, $50 million deal. Originally entering the NFL as a third-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2017, Smith has 66 combined regular season and playoff games under his belt. His raw numbers aren’t eye popping — he has caught just 125 passes for 1,389 yards and 17 touchdowns — but his versatility and reliability have made him one of the top tight ends to enter this market this year.
The Patriots then brought in Hunter Henry on a three-year deal worth up to $37.5 million just one day later. A long time favorite of head coach Bill Belichick, Henry entered the NFL as a second round pick of the then San Diego Chargers in 2016. Coming off of back-to-back 50+ catch seasons, Henry has compiled 196 receptions for 2,322 yards and 21 touchdowns over the course of his five year career, despite missing all of 2018.
The two are joined by 2020 draft picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene on the depth chart, as well as veteran Matt LaCosse. All of them could eventually follow along and attend the tight end summit that is expected to begin next month.
BONUS FACT: Hunter Henry confirmed a number change while announcing his intentions to attend the tight end summit. He will wear No. 85 with the Patriots.