Patriots: Hunter Henry’s latest comments shouldn’t concern fans at all

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Hunter Henry
SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 01: Hunter Henry /

The New England Patriots will have a ton on their plate this offseason when it comes to replenishing their roster.

Shoring up the tight end position, which has been a wasteland as far as production is concerned since Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, should be high on their priority list.

Bypassing the opportunity to upgrade the position just isn’t an option anymore, especially when you consider that the Patriots will be equipped with close to $70 million in cap space.

At the same time, however, we would advise against throwing money at the problem for the sake of doing so.

Given how many positions that could use an upgrade, the Patriots have to be responsible with how they allocate their finances. Taking that into account, it all but takes Chargers star Hunter Henry off the board as a potential signing in free agency.

Not only is Henry projected to demand a ton of money on the open market, but his latest comments about wanting to sign with a team that has a “good quarterback” pretty much terminates the Pats as a landing spot. And you know what? Fans should be just fine with that.

Hunter Henry’s comments on his free agency shouldn’t concern Patriots fans.

"“I want to play somewhere there’s a good quarterback,” Henry told SiriusXM NFL Radio this week. “That’s huge for our position. It makes things a lot easier . . . Playing with a good quarterback always makes things better. You gotta look at both. You gotta look at some of the financial stuff, but not dive too deep into it that you go chasing it because I also want to play with a good quarterback.”"

We always knew the Patriots would need to acquire a quarterback in order to attract some top free agent skill position players, but splurging on Henry hardly makes sense.

Henry has gained serious steam as a free agent target for the Patriots this offseason. However, tight end is simply too low in the pecking order of positional importance for them to throw the bank at him without considering the consequences.

When you take a look at the extensions Travis Kelce and George Kittle signed last offseason, chances are that Henry has set a similar evaluation of himself. For context, the two superstars inked deals with annual average values of $14.31 million and $15 million, with Austin Hooper checking in next on the list at $10.5 million per year.

With that in mind, you have to think that Henry will demand something along the likes of $12 million annually. Objectively speaking, signing the former second-round pick at that cost simply wouldn’t be worth it to the Patriots, as much as they are desperate for an elite tight end.

We hate to belittle Henry’s career, but his injury history is a major red flag in our book. Since entering the league in 2016, the 26-year-old has appeared in just 55 of a possible 80 games. Throw in the fact that he’s averaged just 42.8 receiving yards per contest as a heavily-featured member of the Chargers’ offense, and we’re all set on the Patriots pursuing somebody else.

While the Patriots, at the moment, have a problem under center, Henry’s comments shouldn’t rush them, nor should they concern fans.