Patriots go out of character with a first-day free-agency move

Sport

The Patriots rarely spend early and heavily in free agency. They’ve done it now.

By giving tight end Jonnu Smith a four-year, $50 million deal with $31.25 million fully guaranteed, the Pats are spending cash and cap space to fill a position of significant need.

Already, the Patriots have moved to upgrade a group of weapons that, for quarterback Cam Newton, was subpar, to say the least. It will be interesting to see what they do next, especially at the receiver position.

Although many have relegated the Patriots to the status of middle of the pack, they were 7-9 last year, and they aren’t far from contending. The Smith deal shows they’re not content to wait.