The New England Patriots are lacking a player who can create separation in his routes; someone who could give the passing game some sort of spark.
Perhaps a guy like Jakobi Meyers, who was their lone bright spot in 2022.
That’s why plenty of people questioned the team’s decision to let Meyers go in free agency and replace him with JuJu Smith-Schuster, whose career production has been rather underwhelming.
When asked about whether the Patriots prioritized Meyers in free agency — which didn’t seem like the case — ahead of their clash vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, HC Bill Belichick claimed that they did prioritize him but they couldn’t do anything because of the fact that he was a free agent, via NBC Sports Boston.
“Yeah, well, I mean, he was a free agent, and he signed with the Raiders,” Belichick said. “There’s a lot of guys who leave and change teams in free agency. But yeah, Jakobi looks like he looked here.”
Is there a reason why Jakobi Meyers wasn't more of a priority?
Belichick: "It was a priority. We talked to him… free agency is free agency" pic.twitter.com/tpgwT7hrG3
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) October 11, 2023
That surely doesn’t seem like the case, as Meyers had a blunt reaction when the Pats signed Smith-Schuster to a three-year deal worth $25.5 million (with $16 million guaranteed).
Meyers wound up taking a three-year, $33 million contract with $21 million guaranteed from the Raiders, so it was pretty much a no-brainer for him.
Smith-Schuster has struggled to make some noise in New England, hauling in 14 receptions for 86 yards and zero touchdowns throughout the course of the season, and he’s not even likely to play on Sunday after suffering a concussion vs. the New Orleans Saints.
Meyers, on the other hand, has been one of Jimmy Garoppolo’s most reliable pass-catchers, grabbing 25 receptions for 274 yards, three touchdowns, and 14 first downs, and while the Raiders offense hasn’t been impressive by any means, he has done more than enough to help.NEXT: Bill Belichick Reveals Mac Jones' Status For Sunday