After two days of not making any big splashes in free agency and Patriots fans losing their minds already, Bill Belichick has signed an upgraded receiver to add to the roster on Wednesday,
The Patriots were reportedly interested in signing a few top-name free agents in the morning hours of the new league year, including trading for either DeAndre Hopkins or Jerry Jeudy, but they made their first official move by signing former Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
After the news of Jakobi Meyers signing with the Raiders on Tuesday, the Patriots needed to make a big move to replace the team’s top receiver over the past two seasons. Although Smith-Schuster isn’t the player most fans were hoping for, he is set to bring the same production, if not more, that Meyers did in his time with the Patriots, especially after accomplishing one of the best years of his career last year in Kansas City.
The most ironic part, however, is the details of the new receiver’s contract.
It is set up quite similarly to what Meyers got from Las Vegas, causing many to wonder why the Patriots let Meyers go just to sign an equal player for the same money; a three-year deal worth up to $33 million.
Despite that “drama,” the Patriots are certainly getting an upgrade with Smith-Schuster. At just 26 years old, he’s already been in the league for six seasons, between the Steelers and one season with the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs.
The former second-round draft pick finished the 2022 regular season with 78 receptions for 933 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 12 yards per catch. He will fill the slot receiver role immediately, solving the significant void left by Meyers.
Fortunately for Patriots fans, this doesn’t close the door on potentially trading for Hopkins, Courtland Sutton, or signing Odell Beckham Jr. Now that the team has found their slot guy, they’ll need a perimeter receiver. Since they’re reportedly in contact with all of the teams and players just listed, they may announce another signing/trade soon.