Dolphins steal potential Steelers free-agent target with Arthur Smith ties

Arthur Smith and the Pittsburgh Steelers lose out on a potential free agent to the Miami Dolphins.

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that the Miami Dolphins and tight end Jonnu Smith were in contract negotiations. Now, the two sides have agreed to a deal, per ESPN’s Senior NFL insider Adam Schefter.

According to Schefter, Smith and the Dolphins came to terms on a two-year pact worth up to $10 million.

While this may not be an earth-shattering acquisition that tilts the balance of the AFC next season, it is notable that Miami landed Smith and potentially stole him from a conference rival with a clear connection to the 28-year-old.

Dolphins steal Jonnu Smith from Steelers, Arthur Smith

Smith was labeled as a painfully obvious free-agent target for the Pittsburgh Steelers, considering the team now employs Arthur Smith as their offensive coordinator. The two spent four seasons together with the Tennessee Titans from 2017-2020 and most recently overlapped in 2023 as members of the Atlanta Falcons, where Arthur was the head coach.

Pittsburgh’s offense was amongst the worst in the NFL this past season, so missing out on adding a dynamic seam-stretching pass-catcher like Jonnu, who is familiar with their offensive coordinator and his scheme feels like a squandered opportunity. Perhaps this means the Steelers are comfortable with Pat Freiermuth and Darnell Washington.

The veteran tight end has enjoyed the best success of his NFL career to date during his time with Arthur in Tennessee and Atlanta, with a forgettable two-year stint with the New England Patriots sandwiched between.

Jonnu set career-highs in targets (70), receptions (50), and yards (582) last season and will have a chance to build on the momentum he captured in 2024 with the Dolphins on one of the league’s most high-powered offensive units.

Considering the tight ends on Miami’s roster at this moment in time, Jonnu is potentially staring at a spot atop the depth chart.