How Pats' Hunter Henry could benefit from star-studded TE summit


If Hunter Henry wants to help transform the Patriots' offense, they're in the right spot this week.

New England's free-agent tight end signing is attending "Tight End University," a workout summit led by Pro Bowlers Travis Kelce, George Kittle and the recently-retired Greg Olsen in Nashville.

UPDATE (Sunday, June 27): Fellow Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith, who previously committed to the event, did not attend, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. Smith appeared to suffer a minor injury at Patriots minicamp. This article has been updated to reflect Smith's absence.

The summit is only a few days -- Wednesday through Friday -- but gathers 49 NFL tight ends with big names like Zach Ertz, Evan Engram and Eric Ebron all in one spot.

And while they all play for different teams, the group of tight ends has been openly sharing trade secrets, according to Kittle.

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"I'm a big believer that you surround yourself with good people which brings the best out of you," Kittle told ESPN's Turron Davenport. "We're sharing our strategy with guys. Our mindsets, how you approach the game.

"All of this is for the tight end position to take a step forward. I'm excited that we have such a great group of guys."

Kittle added that he feels the tight end position is undervalued, so he hopes this meeting of the brightest tight end minds can raise the level of the position as a whole.

That's good news for Henry, who was among the tight ends participating in both on-field activities and film sessions with the best of the best. (You can check out footage from the summit on Tight End University's Instagram story.)

The Patriots are shelling out a combined $25 million per year for Henry and Smith until at least 2023, so they're clearly committed to making tight end a focal point of the offense after it was a virtual nonfactor in 2020.

Expectations will be high for the duo in 2021, as both players combined for over 100 catches and 1,000 yards last season. If Henry can pick up some tricks of the trade from elite tight ends like Kelce, Kittle and Olsen, that could go a long way toward the offense's success this fall.

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