After a scorching, record-setting performance in last season’s playoffs, many predicted that Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis would be headed to a breakout season.
That never materialized, as Davis struggled with drops and inconsistent play while turning in a still productive season. One insider predicts that the Bills could now look to a division rival for another player who could compete for the No. 2 spot behind Stefon Diggs in the coming season.
Bills Could Pursue Top Patriots Target
Matt Parrino of NewYorkUpstate.com ran through the list of potential free-agent wide receiver targets for the Bills, putting New England Patriots pass-catcher Jakobi Meyers near the top of the list. Parrino wrote that he could be a good fit for Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense, but may be out of their range at the four-year, $50-million contract that Spotrac.com predicts he could land.
“Meyers seems like a Bills culture fit and perhaps the Plan B if they think they don’t want to give Davis a big contract,” Parrino wrote. “If he lands a deal close to what’s projected above, it seems he’d also be out of the Bills’ price range. He’s not as fast as [Mecole] Hardman or [D.J.] Chark, but Meyers consistently got open for the Patriots and made big plays. He’s posted back-to-back seasons with at least 800 receiving yards and set a new high with six touchdown catches in 2022.”
Davis is coming off a season where he made 48 catches for 836 yards with seven touchdowns, though he was often a boom-or-bust contributor to the offense. More than 30 percent of his total production for the season came in two games, a 171-yard outburst against the Pittsburgh Steelers and a 93-yard game against the Minnesota Vikings. Davis also had seven games with 40 yards or fewer.
That production fell below what many expected after Davis broke out in the 2021 playoffs, setting an NFL record with four touchdown catches in a divisional-round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bills Could Have Plenty of Competition for Jakobi Meyers
If the Bills do have plans to pursue Meyers, they will likely have a lot of competition. ESPN’s Matt Bowen ranked Meyers as the No. 20 available free agent this offseason and the top overall wide receiver.
Bowen wrote that Meyers, who came to the Patriots as an undrafted free agent, emerged as their top target and “could get a chance to cash in this spring.”
“A nuanced route runner with strong hands and a 6-foot-2 frame, Meyers caught 47 of his 67 targets on throws inside the numbers this season, setting a career high with six touchdowns,” Bowen wrote. “He’s an intermediate target in the pass game with outside flex and has the ability to stretch defenses on seams and deep over routes.”
Though the Patriots could try to keep Meyers as a top target for quarterback Mac Jones, Meyers himself appeared ready for a departure.
“When that time comes I’ll cross that bridge,” Meyers said after New England’s season finale loss to the Bills, via MassLive.com. “Whether I’m here or I’m not here, I’ll tell all the guys that I appreciate them. Because the locker room changes regardless of whether I’m here or not. So tell everybody that I appreciate them and embrace these couple moments with the guys.”