“Tom called Gronk up after watching Bill make deals all day and told Gronk “free agency is closed.” Tera Victoria commented after the tight end signed up for another season. He agreed to another one-year $10 million season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after helping the franchise to a long-awaited Super Bowl. It was a deal that made many fans smile because Gronk is such a popular figure.
The season away from football really helped him because it allowed his body to recuperate. Meanwhile, Gronk’s presence makes Tom Brady a happier quarterback. The Buccaneers did very well to keep the core of their Super Bowl-winning roster together. Of course, $10 million is a lot to pay, but considering his name value and his performance in the showpiece game, it’s the going rate.
“Well, looks like the Patriots are going back to the old Gronkowski-Hernandez 12 personnel days! ” fantasy football writer Michael Fabiano tweeted. This came after New England obtained the two best tight ends in 2021’s free agency. The addition of Jonnu Smith and Henry was a statement of intent by the Patriots. However, critics questioned whether the Pats overpaid for the pair.
They agreed to pay Henry $37.5 million over three years. This is a lot, but the former L.A. Chargers star definitely adds an injection of quality into the New England offense. Furthermore, fans didn’t react with total positivity. Chris Morris said, “The only guarantee is that 10-yd passes will sail overhead, be behind them or at their shoelaces.” Looking at you, Cam Newton.
“Now if they somehow end up with a quarterback who doesn’t throw the ball to the other team or into the ground, I’ll be interested,” one Patriots fan tweeted after the news broke of Smith’s signature. New England continued their bid to conquer free agency by adding Smith to their roster. They stunned the NFL by handing the former Tennessee Titans wideout a contract worth up to $50 million.
The Patriots burned through money like it was going out of fashion. Smith never had more than 450 receiving yards in any of his four years with the Titans, so this is a lot of money for him. However, New England required weapons and clearly felt like he was value for money. To be fair, they haven’t enjoyed those numbers since before Rob Gronkowski’s first retirement.
“As long as Cam is the starting QB all these weapons don’t matter,” Patriots fan Chris Matchuk complained. “The people who constantly defend Cam’s play last year guaranteed did not actually watch him play. He just cannot throw the ball. All of this is for nothing if he is the starter.” However, Newton agreed to another one-year deal with the Patriots after he inked a contract worth up to $14 million.
This was unexpected after an uneven year with the Pats in 2020. There were thoughts that the likes of Washington, Chicago, or Denver might snap him up in free agency but instead, New England played it safe. This doesn’t mean he will be their starter in 2021 but with the addition of a ton of weapons, Newton no longer has excuses. Finally, it’s safe to say he didn’t convince the fans.
“I still can’t believe JJ Watt finally had the chance to play for a Super Bowl contender and chose to go to Arizona instead,” Houston Texans fan Adam Vaccaro bemoaned. Vaccaro had a point but there’s no doubt that the Cardinals pulled off a coup when they reunited Watt with DeAndre Hopkins. But this two-year, $31 million deal makes a lot of sense for the defensive end after he entered free agency.
First, it also reunited him with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Meanwhile, a defensive line with Watt and Chandler Jones is something to look forward to as two of the most effective pass rushers in the NFL. Furthermore, the addition of the popular Houston star could take young quarterback Kyler Murray to the next level. If this is what transforms the Cardinals into contenders then it will be brilliant.