Tight end is one of the hardest positions to play in the NFL, and finding an above-average receiving threat at the position is one of the most difficult parts of the team-building process. However, Hunter Henry has that skillset and the free agent will certainly garner plenty of interest on the open market. Plenty of teams will want to sign him, but which organizations have the resources to bring in the talented tight end?
2021 Free Agent Team Fits: Hunter Henry
The Cincinnati Bengals have their quarterback of the future in Joe Burrow. Now, they just need to surround him with the necessary talent to succeed. Fixing the offensive line should be Cincinnati’s top offseason priority, but they should also think about adding a few more receiving weapons. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are both great players, but adding someone like Henry would make this offense very hard to defend. Armed with $37.6 million in available spending, the Bengals should be able to address multiple offensive issues in the coming months.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were the worst team in the NFL last year, but they’re in great position for an overnight rebuild. Trevor Lawrence is one of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory and will be a great selling point for any incoming free agent. Of course, having $77.5 million in available cap space won’t hurt, as Jacksonville has the ability to outbid every other team in the league. The Jaguars need help just about everywhere, and nothing is more helpful for a rookie quarterback than a reliable tight end that can catch just about anything thrown in his direction.
New York Jets
Whether it’s Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, or Justin Fields under center in 2021, the New York Jets will need to do something to help out their young passer. Chris Herndon hasn’t done much of anything since his late 2018 breakout, and the receiving duo of Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder leave a lot to be desired. Much like the Jaguars, the Jets have a lot of holes on offense and a lot of cap space to use on these needs. Hunter Henry would immediately be the most reliable weapon in the offense and provides a safe floor for the skill position players if Denzel Mims doesn’t take a second-year leap. If he does, then this offense has the potential to be a pretty solid unit.
New England Patriots
Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene are both young players, so there is a chance that these tight ends improve with more time in the NFL. However, the New England Patriots shouldn’t bank on that possibility. New England had arguably the worst supporting cast in the league last year, and trying to watch this passing offense could be painful at times. Tight end is a very important position in New England’s offense, and head coach Bill Belichick has publicly noted his enjoyment on Hunter Henry’s game. He’s no Rob Gronkowski, but signing Hunter Henry would give New England a respectable tight end room for the first time since the big tight end’s retirement.
The Carolina Panthers quietly have one of the better receiving duos in the NFL with D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. However, they lack a legitimate weapon at tight end. Ian Thomas couldn’t fill Greg Olsen’s shoes, finishing the year with just 20 receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown. Head coach Matt Rhule clearly wants to upgrade the offensive pieces for whichever quarterback ends up starting next year, and Hunter Henry would be a fantastic complimentary piece in an offense that needs to keep up with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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