BOSTON (CBS) — NFL free agency isn’t even technically open, but the Patriots have been on one heck of a spending spree. New England has reached agreements with eight free agents so far while also signing a few of their own.
And it doesn’t seem like Bill Belichick is done yet. The Patriots are not messing around this offseason.
This is unlike anything we’ve seen before from the hooded one, who gave out nearly $200 million (and counting) in the opening hours of the NFL’s legal tampering period. He addressed a handful of areas of need, looking to improve on the team’s 7-9 record from last season, and is certainly putting his money where his mouth is this offseason.
The Patriots bulked up their weapons in the passing game, added a big threat to the team’s pass rush, and addressed needs on the defensive line. Here is what Belichick and the Patriots have done so far this offseason:
Tuesday’s Follow-Up Move
After making splash after splash on Monday, the Patriots kicked off Tuesday by agreeing to a deal with the best tight end on the marker: Hunter Henry. The team will reportedly sign Henry to a three-year, $37.5 million deal.
With Henry and Jonnnu Smith in the fold for next season, the Patriots will have the two best free agents from this year’s free agent class.
Monday’s Spending Spree
The Patriots were in desperate need of something — anything! — at tight end, so Bill Belichick went out and gave a huge contract to one that he’s been enamored with for some time. Smith, 25, is reportedly set to sign a four-year, $50 million deal with New England, one that includes $31.25 million in guaranteed money.
In 60 games over his four-year career, Smith has caught 114 passes and 16 touchdowns.
The Patriots reportedly signed Godchaux, who stands at 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, to plug the middle on defense. The 26-year-old nose tackle played in just five games with the Dolphins last season due to a biceps injury, but he had 75 tackles and a pair of sacks in 2019.
The deal for Godchaux is reportedly worth $16 million total, with $9 million guaranteed.
In need of some thump in their pass rush, the Patriots went out and stole Matthew Judon from the Baltimore Ravens. The 28-year-old Judon has racked up 34.5 sacks in 76 games over his five-year career. He had a career-best 9.5 sacks in 2019.
The deal is reportedly for four years and worth $56 million.
The Patriots desperately needed a receiver or two in this free agency period, and Nelson Agholor turned out to be their top man. He’s coming off a career year after signing a one-year deal with Las Vegas last year, and he reportedly got a two-year, $26 million deal from the Patriots.
Shortly after news broke on the Agholor signing, word came out that the Patriots had also agreed on a three-year, $22.5 million deal with Bourne. The 25-year-old had 49 receptions for the 49ers in 2020, and has caught 137 passes for 1,769 yards and 11 touchdowns over his four-year career.
New England added a versatile defensive back in Mills, 26, who can play corner and safety. He was all over the field for the Eagles in 2020, and should fit right in with the rest of Belichick’s secondary.
New England’s deal for Mills is reportedly a four-year pact worth $24 million.
The Pats added a little more depth to the D-line by inking former Jet Henry Anderson to a two-year deal that could be worth up to $11 million. Anderson, 29, had a career-high 42 tackles in 2020 for New York.
The Patriots also rewarded one of their own on Monday, reportedly agreeing to a new deal with defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.
DL Carl Davis
New England also re-signed Carl Davis late Monday. Davis joined the team from the Jaguars practice squad in the middle of the 2020 season and played in three games for the Patriots. He ended up on IR in late November, but is a solid depth piece along the defensive line.
Moves Prior To Monday
In a move that stunned many, the Patriots agreed to bring quarterback Cam Newton back on a one-year, heavily incentivized deal. It remains to be seen if Newton will be New England’s starter for a second straight season, but Cam will at least get a shot.
ST Justin Bethel
Before the frenzy began — and just after the Newton news broke — the Patriots brought back special teams ace Justin Bethel. The 30-year-old played in every game in 2020 and was third in the NFL with 14 special teams tackles.
Bethel’s deal is reportedly for worth $6 million over three years.
The Patriots are reuniting with big tackle Trent Brown, whom they acquired from the Raiders last week. In the swap, the Patriots sent Las Vegas a fifth-round pick in 2022, while also receiving a seventh-round pick from the Raiders.
The Patriots are reportedly sending guard Marcus Cannon to Houston, swapping fourth, fifth and sixth round picks with the Texans in the upcoming draft.
Thuney was a stalwart along the New England offensive line for five years, but now he’s a very, very, very rich man thanks to an $80 million deal from the Kanas City Chiefs.