Patriots decision to let Jakobi Meyers walk reportedly ‘universally rejected’


New England let Meyers sign with Las Vegas but gave JuJu Smith-Schuster a very similar contract.

Jakobi Meyers was a favorite of Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. Chris Unger/Getty Images

When the Patriots lost Jakobi Meyers to the Raiders in free agency on Tuesday, they moved relatively quickly by agreeing to a deal with JuJu Smith-Schuster on Wednesday.

Even though the Patriots could have moved quickly to replace Meyers’ production, the team’s players don’t seem to like the fact that Meyers was left out.

The NFL Network’s Mike Giardi said the Patriots’ decision not to bring Meyers back was “universally criticized” by every player he spoke to, adding that some players told him of their disapproval during their appearance on NBC Sports Boston. .

“East [Meyers’s] ceiling as high as a healthy JuJu? No. I think we know what his ceiling is,” Giardi said. “But his ceiling is that he’s a really good football player and he’s someone the quarterback likes, I think the guys in the locker room like.

“And we spoke to Devin McCourty, and he spoke about it publicly, he thought Jakobi Meyers was one of the next managers of the football team, and now this guy is gone because they weren’t willing The value they place on him versus the value the Raiders — even though it’s basically a one-year deal — wasn’t close.

As Giardi mentioned, the contract Meyers ended up signing with the Raiders came as a surprise to many. While he agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with $21 million guaranteed, Meyers’ contract allows for an easy exit after the first year due to his $5.5 signing bonus and his $5 million salary fully guaranteed in 2023.

Smith-Schuster got a deal very similar to Meyers, signing a three-year, $33 million deal, with a base salary of $25 million and a guarantee of $16 million.

When it was reported that Smith-Schuster got that deal from the Patriots, Meyers shared his thoughts on Twitter.

“Cold world lol,” Meyers wrote.

As Giardi mentioned, McCourty said he was “shocked” to see the Patriots let Meyers walk, especially after seeing the contract the catcher got.

When I saw what he signed up for, I was kind of like, ‘Shit.’ said McCourty during an appearance on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show. “Like, I thought it would have been an easy deal to bring him back here, and after talking to him, I think he wanted to be back here.”

“For me,” McCourty added. “If you get a guy who’s going to be very productive on your team at $11 [million], you have to take it, or you have to know what happens next in the slot. And for me, being there last year, I don’t know who the slot is. Like, I don’t know.

Smith-Schuster has peaked higher than Meyers in their respective careers, recording 111 receptions for 1,426 yards with the Steelers in 2018 and 78 receptions for 933 yards with the Chiefs last season.

But Meyers knew the team well and was someone Mac Jones liked, as the quarterback has repeatedly said he wants to play with the receiver for the rest of his career. Meyers has also improved every season after being an undrafted rookie in 2019, recording 67 receptions for 804 yards and six touchdowns in 2022.

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