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Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers named among top players to enter free agency in 2023

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NFL: Chicago Bears at New England Patriots Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Jakobi Meyers has been the New England Patriots’ most reliable receiving option since his breakout in mid-2020. As a result, he has not just earned himself a valuable spot on the team’s roster but also the status as one of the top free-agents-to-be next offseason.

A recent analysis by Pro Football Focus, after all, has Meyers ranked No. 9 among players looking for a new contract:


After every big-name wide receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft class who was set to hit free agency this offseason signed monster extensions before the year began, Meyers found himself as the top free agent at a position that is growing in importance (and value) every single week. Meyers was an undrafted free agent find of the Patriots in 2019 who has blossomed into a very good player, returning to New England in 2022 on a restricted free agent tender and comfortably outperforming all the other major investments the team made at the position over the past two offseasons.

New England may certainly try to keep Meyers around, likely letting Nelson Agholor reach free agency at the least, but they’ve also made it a habit of letting players walk after their rookie contract value is gone, notably with another former undrafted free agent in cornerback J.C. Jackson last offseason.

Meyers is predominantly a slot receiver but is certainly not just that, logging about one-third of his snaps out wide. What he lacks in physical tools — his 4.63-second 40-yard dash ranks in the 14th percentile among wide receivers in PFF’s database — he more than makes up for with sharp route running and great hands. Over the past three seasons, his 3.6% drop rate is 12th among qualifying wide receivers, and at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, he can use his frame to make contested catches. His 69% contested catch rate is the top mark among all wide receivers over the past three seasons.

The Patriots and their quarterbacks have relied quite a bit on Meyers over the last three seasons, making him a potential priority target for receiver-needy teams in March. New England is among those, but there is still no guarantee the 26-year-old will return.

That said, the Patriots are projected among the league leaders in salary cap space in 2023. Nothing can therefore be ruled out yet.