Why Patriots invested so much at tight end position this offseason

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The Patriots spent over $87 million at the tight end position this past offseason when they acquired Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.

While it hasn't exactly worked out according to plan with Smith struggling a bit in his first season in New England, Bill Belichick explained Wednesday how valuable talent at the position is, which could explain why the team added both this past offseason.

"If you have them, they give you more formation versatility than any other position," he said to reporters. "If you don’t have them, you can’t manufacture them. It’s a hard position to find, but if you have them, they create formational problems and they create mismatches in the running game and the passing game. They give you a lot of formation options, a lot of protection options, a lot of play action options, a lot of blocking combinations, schemes. Even on zone plays, there’s still an extra guy there. He builds another gap, however you form it. I doubt there’s too many offensive coaches that couldn’t use a good tight end or wouldn’t use them."

Of late the Patriots have transitioned Smith to more of a blocking role, while Henry continues to play a more traditional role.

Over the nine games this season, the duo has combined for 48 catches and 509 yards to go along with six touchdowns.

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