The New England Patriots began to build their roster ahead of the 2023 season and the team has moved on from a failed signing from the 2021 offseason.
Jonnu Smith has been traded to the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. New England had previously not had a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft.
The tight end never found his footing with the Patriots. In 30 games played for New England, Smith only recorded 55 receptions for 539 yards and a touchdown, per Pro Football Reference.
Smith signed a four-year, $50 million contract two years ago with New England, according to Spotrac.
Hunter Henry will now continue to be the leading tight end for New England. Since joining the Patriots in the same offseason as Smith, Henry has racked up 91 receptions for 1,112 yards and 11 touchdowns in 34 games played per Pro Football Reference.
New England Patriots Fans React to Jonnu Smith Trade
A main point of contention among Patriots fans was that New England was only able to get a seventh-round pick in exchange for Smith.
“a seventh round pick? that’s pathetic,” one fan said.
“I’m cool with it but for a 7thhhhhh?!? Cmon man,” another fan wrote.
“We should’ve gotten a third round pick, not seventh. Is that all we got? Horrible deal,” a Twitter user wrote. “I would’ve asked for a third and fourth or second to the fourth.”
Other fans were happy that the Patriots were able to free up some cap space.
“Thank GOD this opens up some more cap space and they’ll like pick a TE at some point in the draft,” a fan wrote.
“Holy W cant believe they were willing to take on his contract,” another fan wrote.
Jonathan Jones Returning to New England Patriots
Patriots fans got more promising news on Monday as Ian Rapoport also reported that cornerback Jonathan Jones would be returning to New England. Rapoport reported that Jones is receiving a two-year deal.
It’s not too surprising to see Jones sign with the Patriots as he expressed that he wanted to stay in New England when speaking with NBC Sports Boston.
“That’s always the goal,” he said. “I think for a guy to be in a place for his entire career, that’s abnormal. So that’s kind of always a goal for players. And I enjoy it. I’ve been here most of my adult life. It’s consistency here for me. And I love New England. The fans, the people, you know how crazy they are about the sports here. It’s definitely a second home for me.”
Jones also discussed how he has become a leader in New England.
“I think I’ve kind of grown into that role. A lot of the older guys, Devin (McCourty) and Slate (Matthew Slater), have always pushed me into that way of being more vocal,” Jones said. “I was kind of more of a guy who led by example, tried to do things the right way. But those guys have kind of pushed me into being more of a vocal leader for the team and different things like that.”