New England Patriots

Hunter Henry reveals why he re-signed with Patriots in NFL free agency

"I love this area. I love this fan base. I love this organization."

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Hunter Henry was arguably the best tight end who could have entered NFL free agency last month, but instead of hitting the open market and chasing a major payday, the 29-year-old veteran decided to remain with the New England Patriots.

Henry signed a three-year contract reportedly worth a maximum of $30 million with $16 million guaranteed.

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Henry was at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday as the Patriots kick off their offseason activities this week. He was asked why he decided to re-sign with the Patriots before free agency officially opened.

"I just wanted to be here. I'm excited. I love this locker room. I love this area. I love this fan base. I love this organization," Henry said at a press conference. "I wanted to be a part of this. I didn't like how last year went -- didn't like how the last two years have been -- and I wanted to be a part of that change."

Henry also is looking forward to the start of the Jerod Mayo era in New England. Mayo replaced Bill Belichick as the franchise's head coach in January.

"I'm excited for this new start," Henry said. "To be a part of that is exciting. I have a lot of pride in this organization, too. They brought me here three years ago now, and I'm just excited.

"I think it'll be cool to be part of a new era here with Jerod. I've always admired him as a coach, as a person and obviously as a player. He was a great player. I'm excited to be part of that new change."

The Patriots originally signed Henry as part of their major free agent spending spree of 2021. Not every player the Patriots signed during that period panned out, but Henry was definitely among those that did. The veteran tight end tallied 133 receptions for 1,531 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last three seasons. He led the team with six receiving touchdowns in 2023.

Henry is a reliable target in the passing attack, especially on third down and in the red zone. His ability to make clutch plays in those situations will help whoever starts at quarterback in Week 1, especially if it's a rookie.

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