Jonnu Smith could be the offensive weapon the Dolphins need as talks continue

Former Atlanta Falcons tight end was productive in 2023 and could revamp tight end room.

Jonnu Smith running with the ball in a 2023 game against the Carolina Panthers. He visited with Miami brass and Dolphins fans are rooting for the former FIU Panther to sign with the team and give them a tight end threat that has been lacking last season.
Jonnu Smith running with the ball in a 2023 game against the Carolina Panthers. He visited with Miami brass and Dolphins fans are rooting for the former FIU Panther to sign with the team and give them a tight end threat that has been lacking last season. / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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Amid the recent roster cuts and talk of trimming the payroll to get under the NFL Salary Cap, Dolphins fans grew a little optimistic that some tight end help might be the shot in the arm that the offense needs as they had little reason that the team would address the seldom-used position this offseason.

The Dolphins had a meet and greet with former Atlanta Falcons tight end and Florida native Jonnu Smith on Tuesday and his production has Dolphins fans wanting an immediate pen put to paper.

However, Smith's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, speaking on The Joe Rose Show Wednesday morning, said that the talks were very preliminary and that just because the two sides met, does not mean that the signing of a deal is imminent. Smith is expected to have many suitors and will not come cheap.

""Jonnu, who is absolutely one of the most attractive free agent tight ends on the market right now, he had a good meeting with the Dolphins. We have had discussions, but that's really the most that I can say about that one right now. It's a fluid situation. There are other teams involved and we'll just have to see how it shakes out here over the next period of days and such.""

NFL Agent Drew Rosenhaus

Smith is eligible to sign now with any team because he was released by the Falcons last week and is considered a street-free agent who does not have to wait until the league season starts on Wednesday to sign with a team.

After breaking in with Tennessee, Smith caught 50 balls last season for 532 yards and three touchdowns. He led all tight ends in yards after catch in 2023 and averaged 8.3 yards per touch. He would compliment Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in spreading the field and forcing teams to double cover the tight end in certain situations which could create a mismatch for Hill or Waddle.

For his career, Smith has accumulated 219 receptions and has amassed 20 touchdowns. He is a dynamic pass catcher and is a physical, punishing receiver who is difficult to bring down. He would bring a new dimension to McDaniel's offense and spent 50 percent of his snaps lined up in the slot.

He would be an immediate upgrade for Miami and would give them an added weapon to spread the field for Tua Tagovailoa.

The former Florida International star is projected to be the top receiving tight end on the market now that Dallas Schultz resigned with Houston. The Dolphins are probably not the only team looking to sign Smith and the competition will probably be pretty steep.

Miami is the only team that did not feature a tight end who scored a touchdown in 2023. They have three tight ends on the roster, including starter Durham Smythe who surrendered a lot of snaps and receptions to second-year tight end Julian Hill who was more consistent catching the football. The Dolphins round out the tight end room with Tanner Conner, who spent all season on the practice squad and saw no game action.

Smith would be a perfect addition to Mike McDaniel's offense that is pass-happy and would give the Dolphins an asset that they have not had since Mike Gesicki left for New England at the end of the 2022 season. Gesicki is a free agent this offseason, but don't expect a reunion.

As referenced above, the Dolphins are way over the salary cap right now, so the deal would have to be incentive-laced and be cap-friendly for the team. Miami must clear $18 million by March 13. Whatever base salary and prorated bonus they paid to Smith would just add to the number that has to be cleared by Wednesday.