Grading the commerce: Falcons decide up Jonnu Smith from Patriots for Day 3 draft decide

The Patriots and Falcons squared away some enterprise Monday morning earlier than the beginning of the authorized tampering window, because the Falcons agreed to accumulate tight finish Jonnu Smith for a seventh-round draft decide, in accordance with a league official with data of the transaction.

Why they made the transfer

The Patriots had quietly been hoping to get out of the ultimate half of Smith’s four-year, $50 million contract, but it surely felt impractical to launch him because of the cap constraints, which have been a byproduct of final 12 months’s restructure. The commerce, nonetheless, alleviated $4.4 million in cap house, whereas the Patriots absorbed $12.8 million in useless cash. It wasn’t splendid, however that’s about nearly as good because it was going to get.



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The Falcons have reunited the 27-year-old Smith with head coach Arthur Smith, because the pair had been collectively throughout Jonnu Smith’s greatest seasons with the Titans from 2017-20. While Smith struggled to muster any constant statistical manufacturing with the Patriots, he has nonetheless been a worthy blocker, and he ought to assist the Falcons open different alternatives for rising star Kyle Pitts.

Trade grade (Falcons): B-plus

The Falcons are going to restructure Smith’s contract, which has two years and $22.8 million remaining. Pending the ultimate monetary particulars, this grade might strategy the A-category.

The veteran tight finish market is skinny, and Smith most likely supplies extra upside to the Falcons than their different choices. Smith caught 114 passes for 1,302 yards and 16 touchdowns in 4 seasons with Arthur Smith and the Titans; their remaining two seasons collectively have been way more productive than Smith’s time in New England.

And once more, if Smith turns into extra of a springboard for Pitts, it’s an excellent larger win.



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Trade grade (Patriots): B-minus

Moving Smith appeared extremely unlikely, so the Patriots get excessive marks for that aspect of the transaction. We’ll see what occurs with the draft decide, however the $4.4 million in cap reduction was an surprising victory.

Still, it doesn’t overshadow the Patriots’ whiff on the signing, as they by no means bought him going with the catch-and-run designs that have been within the plans — and that Smith did so effectively in Tennessee. Smith totaled 55 catches for 539 yards and a landing in 30 video games with the Patriots.

Smith was closely featured within the offense throughout his first offseason with the Patriots, however accidents and inconsistency slowed the progress, and he by no means bought on top of things the way in which the Patriots meant throughout their 2021 offseason spending bonanza.

(Photo: Cooper Neill / Getty Images)

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