Sports Q

Who is the one player you most want — or wanted — the Patriots to sign in free agency?

Are you happy with the players the Patriots are going after in free agency?

Patriots rebuild Belichick future
Bill Belichick has been with the Patriots as head coach since 2000. AP Photo/Ashley Landis

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Welcome to’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through TwitterFacebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation. 

If you could have the Patriots land any one player in free agency, who would it be? I’d go with either tight end, Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith. – Jim F.

Well, I was working on the answer to this question when Adam Schefter broke the news that the Patriots will sign Smith, the former Titans tight end, to a four-year, $50 million contract. So even if he wasn’t your No. 1 free agent choice, it’s a heck of a place for the Patriots to start spending that $65 million in cap room.

I imagine Smith was the No. 1 pick for many of you. Henry is a better pass receiver, but he has durability issues, which can happen to guys that play professional football for a living. Henry missed two games last season, four in ’19, and the entire ’18 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. Still, he’s a terrific player – he had 60 catches with the Chargers last season – and we all would have been happy had he been the tight end the Patriots spent on.

But Smith, though not the volume pass-catcher that Henry is – he had a career high 41 receptions for 448 yards this past season – is an excellent all-around tight end. He’s a very good run blocker, excels after the catch, and is just 25 years old. He should be a perfect fit here, so long as we don’t expect him to be the next Gronk.


Day 1 of free agency has been a good one for the Patriots. They also came to terms with run-stopping defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, formerly of the Dolphins, and at this writing are reported to be in the mix for Ravens pass-rushing linebacker Matt Judon. (Update: The Patriots and Judon have a deal, according to multiple reports).

As far as the player I’d most like to see the Patriots sign, I think I’d go with Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel. He’s versatile, has a history with Cam Newton, and would fit a huge need. The Patriots are apparently in the mix there, too, along with the Jaguars, Giants and the Washington Football Team.

But it’s already been a good day for the franchise. Kind of fun when they’re participating in the free-agent frenzy, isn’t it?

What does everyone else think? Who is the one player you want – or wanted – the Patriots to sign in free agency? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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