Players said to be unhappy about Patriots not re-signing Jakobi Meyers
Free agency officially began just last week, and the Patriots have already made several moves that appear, at least on paper, to improve the team. However, Bill Belichick’s decision not to re-sign fan favorite and beloved teammate Jakobi Meyers has not sat well with those in New England.
Even Meyers himself seemed bothered upon seeing the contract JuJu Smith-Schuster received from his old team, a deal very similar to the one he got from the Raiders.
It’s typical to hear from the fans of any team when a player universally liked is traded or let go, especially on social media. Hearing from the players is not as common, though, except this time, a few of Meyers’ former Patriots teammates have expressed their unhappiness regarding his status over the last few days to NFL Network’s Mike Giardi.
On Friday, Giardi spoke with NBCS Boston’s Tom Curran on “Arbella Early Edition” to share what he’s been told by players and those connected to New England regarding Meyers.
“Universally panned by everyone I talked to. And some people offered their comments to me — players — without me prompting them. I just got a text.
The idea that you reward one of your own who came from undrafted free agency, built himself up, and when you go back two years ago in the Josh McDaniels offense, caught 83 passes. And actually, even go back a year before where I think 57 of his 58 catches came in the final 10, 11 weeks of the season when they said, ‘We gotta roll this guy out there, we gotta trust his instincts to play football.'”
When the news broke that Meyers was signing with Las Vegas, most assumed the deal he received was one Belichick didn’t want to pay, hence him signing elsewhere. But when Smith-Schuster’s contract was revealed to be nearly identical initially, it made the move much more puzzling.
Considering Meyers’ impact on the Patriots’ offense over the last few years, it’s difficult to understand the decision to let him go. In the years since Tom Brady left and Julian Edelman retired, he’s been the most consistent and productive player for any quarterback that took the field and could very well have been that same player for years to come.
Giardi continued sharing what he’s been told since Meyers’ signing, even slamming the Patriots for not putting more value into an obviously great player and teammate with a bright future.
“Is his ceiling as high as a healthy JuJu? No. I think we know what his ceiling is. But his ceiling is that he’s a pretty good football player and he’s someone that the quarterback is fond of, I think the guys in the locker room are fond of.
And we’ve talked to Devin McCourty, and he’s been public about it, he thought Jakobi Meyers was one of the next leaders of the football team, and now that guy’s gone because they weren’t willing to pay him. The value they put on him vs. the value that the Raiders — even though that’s essentially a one-year deal — it wasn’t close.”
Although he didn’t specify who said what, Giardi did bring up Devin McCourty’s response to the situation. The recently retired safety spoke to WEEI’s Greg Hill Show on Wednesday, expressing his disapproval of the Patriots letting Meyers walk.
“When I saw what he signed for, I was kind of like, ‘Damn.’” Like, I thought that would have been an easy contract to bring him back here, and from talking to him, I think he wanted to be back here.
To me, If you get a guy that is going to be highly productive on your team at $11 [million], you’ve got to take it, or you’ve got to know what’s next in the slot. And for me, being there last year, I don’t know who the slot is. Like, I don’t know.”
Although Belichick’s decision hasn’t been vastly approved, Meyers secured a three-year deal, and the Patriots signed his apparent replacement in Smith-Schuster, making it a probable win/win situation for all.