The New England Patriots moved on from tight end Jonnu Smith two years after signing him to a big offseason contract. The Patriots reportedly sent Smith to the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round draft pick, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The trade will reunite Smith with his former Tennessee Titans coach Arthur Smith, who has been the head coach of the Falcons since 2021. Smith had his career year under the then-Titans offensive coordinator in 2020 where he tallied 41 receptions for 448 yards and eight touchdowns. The following offseason, Smith inked a four-year, $50 million deal with the Patriots which included $31.25 million guaranteed. The Falcons will reportedly restructure Smith's contract, according to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.
Smith didn't have a great statistical time in New England. He had just 83 receptions for 539 yards and only one touchdown in two seasons. Smith also only averaged 474.5 snaps per season — the lowest mark in his career. The trade will save the Patriots around $4.4 million in salary cap, according to Spotrac, and will come with a $12.8 million deal cap hit.