Patriots: 3 free agents that will be a total waste of money for New England

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 03: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JANUARY 03: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Watching Tom Brady win a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year after he looked like a shell of himself with the New England Patriots crystallized the fact that Bill Belichick needs to hit free agency hard this offseason.

The Patriots slumped to 7-9 this season, as Cam Newton failed to adequately replace Brady. Given the imperfect storm of COVID-19 optm outs, injuries on both sides of the ball, and an improved division, New England had to watch the postseason at home for the first time in over a decade.

Tom Curran, who is as plugged into the Patriots as anyone in the world, thinks that Belichick, thanks to the plentiful cap space and a need to stay competitive in the AFC East, will be “extremely and uncharacteristically aggressive” during what promises to be a pivotal offseason for New England.

The Patriots can’t be too cavalier about how they choose to spend this offseason, however, because going after these three free agents wouldn’t be the wisest move.

The New England Patriots need to stay away from these free agents

Hunter Henry, Chargers, Patriots
Hunter Henry #86 of the Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

3. TE Hunter Henry

Hunter Henry’s injury history should concern the Patriots.

The Patriots could look for an upgrade at the tight end position, as third-round picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene disappointed in their first pro seasons. The natural replacement, at least on paper, is Henry, who became one of Justin Herbert’s favorite targets during his sensational rookie season with the Los Angeles Chargers.

While the former second-round pick out of Arkansas caught 60 balls, a career-high, for 613 yards and four touchdowns, Henry has a couple of red flags that should deter Belichick. The most important ability in the NFL is availability, and Henry’s history suggests that staying healthy could be a huge problem.

Henry has never played 16 games in a season during his five-year career, and missed the entire 2018 regular season due to injury. Even if he managed to stay on the field, Henry, who was topped only by Travis Kelce and George Kittle in terms of salary last year, will likely command a deal in excess of $10 million per year, a price tag that Belichick has rarely dished out.

Henry is an excellent receiver and blocker that could be a major boost for this offense. However, given his injury history and exorbitant price tag, the shrewd, cost-cutting Belichick should decide to let some other team give Henry the high eight-figure deal he wants while trying to develop Asiasi and Keene into serviceable options.