The New England Patriots’ crop of free agents does not include a lot of big names. Among the handful of players falling into the “priority” category is wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who is set to enter the open market for the first time in his career.
The Patriots appear interested in retaining their most productive pass catcher of the last three seasons. So far, however, contract talks have reportedly not gone very far.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, the two sides have engaged in negotiations but it still looks like the 26-year-old will enter free agency when all is said and done:
The Patriots’ Jakobi Meyers could end up getting the biggest contract among a very thin group of free agent wide receivers. He has talked to the Patriots about a new deal, but they haven’t made very much progress, and it sounds like Meyers will hit the market when it officially opens March 15. He caught 67 passes for 804 yards and six TDs in 2022.
Meyers originally joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of N.C. State in 2019. Despite competing against a deep wide receiver corps that include that year’s first-round pick, N’Keal Harry, he was able to make the roster and show some promise early on.
After playing a rotational role as a rookie and early on as a sophomore, Meyers broke out midway through the 2020 season and never looked back. He led the Patriots in receiving for three straight years, a feat last accomplished by Wes Welker.
In general, his fourth season in New England was business as usual for Meyers. Playing for a new contract, he finished ranked first on the team in receiving yards (804) and touchdowns (6), while also ranking second in receptions (69) — all despite missing three games due to injury. He therefore set himself up nicely for his first trip to the open market.
It might just become a worthwhile one for Meyers. After all, he might be one of the top wide receivers available this year, possibly inflating his market beyond what the Patriots might be willing to invest.
The team could, of course, still use the franchise tag until Tuesday’s deadline but such a move seems unlikely. If Meyers is in fact available once the market opens on Mar. 15, all bets regarding his future are off.