Set to cost $15.5 million in 2023, Hunter Henry is entering the season ranked third on the New England Patriots’ list of salary cap hits. This number is, unfortunately, not reflective of his production with the team last season.
Accordingly, Henry has been named a potential cut candidate by Pro Football Focus:
CUT CANDIDATE: TE HUNTER HENRY
Henry had a productive first season in New England, most importantly hauling in nine touchdown receptions and dropping just one pass on 78 targets. This past season, he earned the lowest receiving grade of his career (61.4) and by far his worst run-blocking grade (48.3).
With Bill O’Brien returning as offensive coordinator, perhaps he wants two solid veteran tight ends to work with, enabling him to line up with various different personnel groupings and helping to get an anemic Matt Patricia-led offense back on track. On the flip side, perhaps the team wants to put that $10.5 million in cash savings to work elsewhere to help improve the unit.
Henry is not the only tight end in the spotlight this offseason. Fellow 2021 offseason acquisition Jonnu Smith, who has been relatively quiet ever since his arrival, is carrying a cap hit of $17.2 million.