Patriots Free Agent Jakobi Meyers Agrees to Deal With Raiders
One of the most important dominoes of the offseason fell on Tuesday, with the Las Vegas Raiders agreeing to terms with Patriots free agent wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the deal is reportedly for 3-years and is worth $33 million, including $21 million guaranteed.
The fact that the annual amount is only $11 million is interesting because it’s hard not to wonder if Meyers took the deal and didn’t come back to the Patriots with an opportunity to match it, as that amount seems close enough where the two sides should have been able to reach an agreement.
It’s possible there could be some frustration on Meyers’s behalf. The Patriots tendered him at the second-round level last offseason, which was worth $3.99 million, and not the first round level, which would have been worth $5.4 million. That happened coming off a year where Meyers had once again been one of the most productive players on offense for the second straight season.
Meyers also didn’t immediately sign the contract, holding out on signing it until June. So it’s clear that he may not have initially been happy about it but ultimately signed it anyway and never let it become a distraction.
However, looking back, 2022 wasn’t exactly clear sailing. He suffered an injury in week 2 and missed the contests against both Baltimore and Green Bay with a knee injury. The Boston Herald has since reported that the injury was apparently significant, with Meyers having played with a partial tear in his knee, gutting out most of the season while still being a key player in New England’s offense.
He was also among the most vocal during the situation surrounding Mac Jones, where the second-year quarterback didn’t get much support publicly by Bill Belichick after suffering an ankle injury. That led to Bailey Zappe getting a lot of chatter by both the fans and media, where Belichick never backed Jones as a starter.
The game against the Bears in Week 7 appeared to be the tipping point. Meyers expressed frustration after that one, watching fans openly boo Jones in his first start coming off the injury, with Jones clearly still hampered by the ankle. Fans chanted Zappe’s name and he ultimately came into the game, but the whole situation, especially with the way it was handled by the coaches, seemed to rub Meyers the wrong way.
“Not even as a football player, it’s tough as a man to see somebody who worked so hard, get that kind of treatment, but at the end of the day, we’re all trying to feed our families,” Meyers said. “We have to make plays no matter who’s throwing (the ball).”
Meyers also expressed some frustration at various points last year with the offense, which was led by Matt Patricia.
“I question what the plan is sometimes and how we’re going to attack,” Meyers told the NFL Network’s Mike Giardi last season.
However, the most likely nail in the coffin could have come during the recent negotiations between the two sides, where something may have been said that didn’t sit well given Meyers’s hard work and production.
He’s been the team’s leading receiver on 3rd down the last two seasons, which is a stat that has fallen under the radar and has been a testament of just how important he’s been to this football team.
The fact that he agreed to terms in Las Vegas on such a low deal, which now pairs him with Devante Adams and will likely make him incredibly productive there as well.
Unfortunately, for now, it leaves a massive hole that the Patriots suddenly need to figure out how to fill.
Posted Under: 2023 Patriots Offseason
Tags: Jakobi Meyers