The New England Patriots offense could look very different in 2023. With Bill O’Brien back as offensive coordinator, third-year quarterback Mac Jones should be much better as well as some of his targets, particularly tight end Hunter Henry.
Like much of the Patriots offense under Matt Patricia, Hunter struggled in 2022 with just 509 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
While the receiving yards weren’t too far off from his 2021 season with the Pats, his touchdown production was way down.
Patriots back in business with the two tight end set
With the addition of fellow tight end Mike Gesicki and wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, Henry could be in for a big year, especially in a contract year. Not only is the Patriots tight end excited to continue the chemistry he formed with Mac Jones, but he is also ready to go this upcoming season.
"“I’m pumped, man,” Henry told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, via NFL.com. “You get here and it feels like the offseason flew by, but you’re excited because football is finally back. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but excited for it.”"
In his initial season with the Patriots, Henry had 50 receptions for 603 yards and 9 touchdowns. That is the type of production Jones, O’Brien and the offense need out of the position. As long as he stays healthy, it should be a good year for the 28-year-old tight end who should benefit from having another pass-catching tight end in the mix.
Patriots Rumors: Is Kareem Hunt an option in the backfield?
While the NFL world awaits the landing spot of DeAndre Hopkins, the New England Patriots have to start thinking about other options out there to help improve their offense.
One free agent out there who is not generating much buzz is running back Kareem Hunt, a player Bleacher Report feel would be a fit for the Patriots.
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In an article titled “Free-Agent Contracts Patriots Must Consider Before Training Camp,” B/R writer Joe Tansey offers the following supporting argument as to why Hunt would be an ideal signing:
"The Patriots lost Damien Harris in free agency and cut James Robinson after signing him this offseason.Hunt would take some pressure off [Rhamondre] Stevenson and allow the starter to focus on being a dominant runner.Hunt could take over the pass-catching responsibilities out of the backfield. He had at least 25 receptions in each of his six NFL seasons."
Not exactly the dream addition a player like Dalvin Cook would be in New England, but a versatile running back who would be a prime backup for Stevenson. Coming off a season with the Cleveland Browns in which he rushed for 468 yards on 123 attempts, Hunt would be an affordable option.
While Bill Belichick and Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien will be looking at second-year running backs Pierre Strong Jr., and Kevin Harris to step up in 2023, adding another veteran to push those players sound like a very Belichick thing to do.
Low cost with a high reward, Hunt could be one of those players who get a second wind in Foxborough.