Atlanta Falcons acquire TE Jonnu Smith in trade with New England Patriots

Glendale, Arizona, USA; New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith (81) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are trading a 2023 seventh-round pick to the New England Patriots for tight end Jonnu Smith, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

Smith’s time with the Patriots was forgettable, but he earned a four-year, $50 million contract with the team because of his production with the Tennessee Titans and then-offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Season Team PFF Overall Grade Targets
2022 NE 52.9 37
2021 NE 59.3 43
2020 TEN 75.2 63
2019 TEN 72.0 44
2018 TEN 55.1 29
2017 TEN 55.9 28

While he produced solid PFF receiving grades in New England, coming in at 67.7 in 2021 and 72.1 in 2022, a reduction in targets meant that he recorded less than 300 receiving yards in each of those seasons, after putting up at least 450 in his final two seasons in Tennessee. He takes a safe pair of hands with him to Atlanta, having never dropped more than three passes in a single season across his six-year career. While he saw just 27 catchable passes in 2022, all of them resulted in a reception.

The need here is still a bit puzzling, with Atlanta drafting Kyle Pitts fourth overall in 2021 and with an H-back type of player in Parker Hesse involved in the offense already. Atlanta has a lot of cash and cap space to burn, but inheriting $11 million to acquire Smith isn't the best use of resources.


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