Falcons trade with Patriots, reunite Jonnu Smith with Arthur Smith in Atlanta

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The Falcons have swung their first trade of the offseason by acquiring Jonnu Smith from the Patriots in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

This is a pure cost cutting move from New England, who had allocated nearly $34 million to the tight end position in 2023 prior to the trade.

After a breakout 2020 season with the Titans, Smith inked a four-year, $50 million deal with the Patriots. Since joining New England, he has not had over 300 yards or more than one touchdown in a season. The 27-year-old caught 27 passes for 245 yards and zero touchdowns last year; in 2021, he caught 28 passes for 294 yards and one touchdown.

Jonnu Smith’s contract was one of the worst in the league with a cap hit of $17.2 million, but he will re-work his deal in Atlanta, Rapoport added. It makes some sense for the Falcons. Jonnu Smith had his career year under Arthur Smith when he was the offensive coordinator in Tennessee, tallying 41 receptions for 448 yards and eight touchdowns.

Arthur Smith deploys multiple tight end sets at one of the highest rates in the league, and you can count on that trend continuing in 2023. Smith will join Kyle Pitts in Atlanta’s tight end room, which will be arguably the most talented in the league.

The trade cannot be finalized until the start of the new league year on Wednesday.

Photographer: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire
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