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How players feel about Patriots not re-signing Jakobi Meyers

Giardi: How players feel about Pats not re-signing Jakobi Meyers originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jakobi Meyers’ departure did not sit well with some of his former New England Patriots teammates.

After Meyers signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, recently retired safety Devin McCourty shared his candid thoughts on what he called a “big loss” for the Patriots. He wasn’t the only player befuddled by the team’s unwillingness to pay the dependable wide receiver.

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Other members of the team voiced their strong opinions privately. On Friday’s “Arbella Early Edition” with Tom E. Curran, NFL Network’s Mike Giardi shared some insight into how players in New England felt about Meyers leaving for Las Vegas.

“Universally panned by everyone I talked to,” Giardi said. “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.'”

The Patriots replaced Meyers with JuJu Smith-Schuster, who signed an almost identical contract. While Smith-Schuster might be a slight talent upgrade at slot receiver, New England is losing one of its most respected players in the locker room.

“Is his ceiling as high as a healthy JuJu? No. I think we know what his ceiling is,” Giardi said. “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.”

Meyers notched 67 catches for 804 yards and six touchdowns as Mac Jones’ safety blanket last season.

You can watch the full “Early Edition” clip with Giardi and Curran above.