Patriots

Patriots

With the Patriots looking to upgrade at tight end - and perhaps show Tom Brady that he'll have an improved pass-catcher at the position to help lure him to return to New England - should Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry be on their free-agent shopping list?

That's just one of several targets Phil Perry discusses in a coast-to-coast discussion with NFL insiders on this week's Next Pats Podcast.

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Perry posed the subject of Henry fitting in with the Pats to Rich Ohrnberger, a former Patriots and Chargers offensive lineman now a sports talk radio host in San Diego. 

"[With] a fully healthy Hunter Henry, this is what you get: He is an excellent pass catcher. During his senior year at Arkansas, he caught every single pass he was targeted with. That's a rare talent. On top of it, he's a very willing inline blocker. The best part of his game is probably that part of it."

Perry describes Henry as a player who plenty of Patriots fans covet. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is entering his fifth NFL season. He could be retained by the Chargers if they choose to place the franchise tag on him by the 4 p.m. deadline Monday.

Ohrnberger calls Henry as "not quite the Gronk caliber that everyone's used to, but a suitable fill-in" and said, "I could see Hunter Henry having a successful campaign as a Patriots player." 

 

And what of Brady's recent announcement that he's formed 199 Productions in L.A.? Should we read into that as a hint that TB12 will take his football talents there as well? 

"I put it fairly low, Ohrnberger said. "That's a franchise in flux. From a marketing standpoint, If they were to lure Tom Brady to their team, certainly it would buoy some ticket sales, some seat licensing sales. First of all, you just moved on from a quarterback in his late 30s...but you're going to inherit a QB in his early 40s. If your goal is to build for the future, that really doesn't align itself."

Turning to wide receiver free agent targets, Perry talks to Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philly about the Eagles' Nelson Agholor, and Trevor Sikkema of The Draft Network about the Tampa Bay Bucs' Breshad Perriman.

Also among the insiders is Larry Holder of The Athletic in New Orleans, who provides an assessment of Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's possible fit in New England. It's all in this week's Next Pats Podcast with Phil Perry on the NBC Sports Podcast Network.