The hottest of free agents happens to be one of the Patriots’ best receivers in recent years, and the debate about his return to Foxboro has amped up over the last few weeks.
Jakobi Meyers may not be the guy most teams would typically be clamoring for, but the class of free-agent receivers set to hit the market soon is entirely forgettable. Meyers will easily be the best of them all, reportedly increasing his price tag dramatically.
Despite that narrative picking up recently, it was initially believed that Meyers could be an easy re-sign, given his outstanding reliability and growth since joining the Patriots in 2019 as an undrafted free agent. Since they’re still looking for a breakout receiver for Mac Jones to have on the offense, the connection Meyers has already made with the young quarterback seemed like a fair enough reason to keep him on the team.
However, because his desirability is apparently going to earn him a massive contract, the chances of his return to New England are slim. Bill Belichick is not known for throwing the bag at almost any player during his time in New England, and there’s not much reason to believe that Meyers would be treated any differently.
Adam Rank of NFL.com recently wrote about why he believes the receiver should actually want to leave the Patriots, citing Christian Kirk’s blockbuster contract with the Jaguars as the biggest reason of all.
"“Christian Kirk signed a huge four-year, $72 million deal with the Jaguars in free agency last year, and it set off a spending spree for the position. And with so many wide receivers switching teams last offseason, there aren’t a ton of big-name wideouts available this time around. The best thing for Meyers to do is leave New England and go get his own bag. His value has been projected at $15 million to $18 million annually. I’m not so sure the Patriots will pay him that. But some team will.”"
Knowing Belichick’s history with letting good players walk over the years, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Meyers sign elsewhere this offseason, despite his desire to stay with the team or even the overall benefit offensively to keep him in New England.
It’ll be interesting to see in the coming weeks if the Patriots express interest in re-signing him at all or if the rumored price projection will make them look the other way.