If you’re surprised the Patriots let Jakobi Meyers go given the deal he signed with Las Vegas, you’re not alone.
Meyers agreed to a deal with Foxboro West, the Raiders, on Tuesday. The wideout signed a three-year deal worth $33 million to reunite with former Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Patriots already needed to add at wide receiver, and the departure of Meyers now makes it a pressing need. Given the obvious impact of losing Meyers, it was odd that the Patriots decided that cost was prohibitive for someone who has played well in their system.
Recently retired Patriots captain Devin McCourty told “The Greg Hill Show” that the decision to let Meyers walk caught him off guard.
“What I was surprised (by) was Jakobi," McCourty said. "I thought what Jakobi signed for for the Raiders -- like he was our most productive receiver the last two years. And this year he missed I think two or three games and still was head and shoulders our most productive guy in an offensive system that loves having a guy that can work short routes inside, intermediate routes vertically on third down as ‘the guy’ usually on third down.
“So when I saw what he signed for I kind of was like damn, I thought that would have been an easy contract to bring him back here. From talking to him, I think he wanted to be back here. And from a leadership standpoint going forward, he’s that guy. If I’m a coach, I’m saying ‘Be like Jakobi.’
Now, the debate can be had about what level of receiver Meyers is. He was New England’s most productive pass-catcher of the last few years and became their No. 1 wideout, but this has been an era of Patriots football defined by largely underwhelming offensive play.
That said, the price the Raiders paid really was not that high. Unless the Patriots plan on not just adding, but upgrading, through the draft, a trade or elsewhere in free agency – and it’s worth mentioning this is not a strong free agent class of wideouts – then that position could become an issue.
For now, the Patriots receiver group is highlighted by DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton and Kendrick Bourne.
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