Former NFL executive blasts Patriots for free agent signing
Is it really free agency in the NFL if the Patriots are not criticized for players they choose to sign? Because it’s the year 2023, and it’s still happening.
Besides the initial shock and disappointment from the New England fans regarding Jakobi Meyers’ signing with the Raiders, NFL analysts and insiders are also expressing their takes. Although many of them had nothing great to say about Meyers during his time with the Patriots, they’re now proclaiming Bill Belichick’s lack of desire to re-sign him as one of the biggest head-scratchers of free agency thus far.
ESPN released an article on Thursday detailing the best and worst signings of free agency, as well as the most improved teams, according to NFL experts. When it came time to discuss the worst decisions, former executive Mike Tannenbaum listed the Patriots’ signing of JuJu Smith-Schuster as his choice.
"“While I like the player, I thought New England could have used more speed, rather than another possession receiver.”"
But he was not the only one to choose Smith-Schuster’s signing.
Jordan Reid, an NFL draft analyst, also named the Patriots, listing Meyers’ similar contract with the Raiders as a reason to question Smith-Schuster’s signing.
"“The Patriots needed wide receiver help, but with Jakobi Meyers getting an identical contract from the Raiders, why not just re-sign him? Smith-Schuster is coming off a productive season with the Chiefs, but Meyers is still the better player.”"
The swap of Meyers for Smith-Schuster may remain a questionable decision, but the details within their contracts have shown to be much different, making Reid’s basis not completely valid. However, it was an interesting move by Belichick to go with a new receiver in that role rather than keeping the homegrown talent in Meyers.
Hopefully it won’t be a decision that haunts Belichick next season or longer, or it could go down as one of his biggest mistakes in his career.