The Patriots usually shy away from re-signing skill position players to lucrative contract extensions. But one highly respected Patriots reporter says they’re expected to make an exception for Jakobi Meyers.
ESPN published an extensive rundown Tuesday of the top 50 free agents in the NFL this upcoming offseason, along with predictions for each team. Meyers is rated as the No. 1-ranked wide receiver.
Mike Reiss says his development from undrafted rookie to go-to target makes him a prime candidate for the Patriots to pursue.
“Developing talent and retaining it is a core principle of successful teams, and that's why the Patriots are expected to be motivated to sign Meyers to an extension,” writes Reiss. “It likely won't come cheaply, but he is the type of player and person Bill Belichick will want to keep to help build around QB Mac Jones.”
Meyers, 26, has solidified himself as Jones’ favorite target. He’s amassed 150 receptions and 1,670 receiving yards over the last two seasons, along with eight touchdowns.
Given the dearth of free agent wideouts, Meyers could earn some serious cash. A possible comparison is Christian Kirk, who inked a four-year, $72 million deal with the Jaguars last year. He was worth the money.
Kirk enjoyed a career campaign in 2022, catching a career-best 84 passes for 1,108 yards —another career high.
Last season, the Patriots paid out more money to receivers than any team in the NFL. But some cash is due to come off the books, as Nelson Agholor will be a free agent as well.
As of now, the Patriots have $32.6 million in overall cap space for 2023, according to Over the Cap. They rank sixth in the NFL.
The NFL announced Monday that teams will have a record $224.8 million in cap space to work with. That’s more than $16 million above last year’s total.