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The New England Patriots have been wheeling and dealing as the offseason began and the free-agency window opened on Monday afternoon, according to multiple reports.
First, the NFL Network reported the Patriots agreed to trade a key piece of their 2021 spending spree – tight end Jonnu Smith. The team reportedly traded Smith to the Atlanta Falcons for a seventh-round pick.
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Jonnu Smith of the New England Patriots runs off of the field during the Cardinals game at State Farm Stadium on Dec. 12, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Smith joined the Patriots before the start of the 2021 season after four seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He played in 30 games for the Patriots and recorded 55 catches for 539 yards. However, he failed to become a bigger part of the offense as he only amassed one touchdown in that span.
In the Patriots’ next order of business, the NFL Network reported the team re-signed Jonathan Jones to a two-year contract. Jones has been with the Patriots since they signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He’s transformed into one of the best defensive backs on the team over the last seven years.
Jonathan Jones of the New England Patriots during the Raiders game at Allegiant Stadium on Dec. 18, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
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Jones played in 16 of the team’s 17 games last year. He had a career-high 69 tackles and four interceptions. He returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown – the first of his career.
Jones’ deal came within the NFL’s "legal tampering" window. Deals cannot be made official until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The team has yet to officially announce the Smith deal.
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches during the Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium on Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park, New York. (Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
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New England missed the playoffs in 2022 after finishing with an 8-9 record.
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