The New England Patriots will need to find a new leading receiver after the departure of Jakobi Meyers and the move has one former player “shocked.”
Recently retired safety Devin McCourty appeared on WEEI and discussed Meyers leaving the Patriots.
“What I was surprised by was Jakobi,” McCourty said. “Like, I thought what Jakobi signed for for the Raiders was, like, ‘Eh.’ Like, he was our most productive receiver the last two years, and this year he missed (three) games and still was head and shoulders our most productive guy in an offensive system that loves having a guy that can work short routes inside, intermediate routes, vertically on third down, is the guy usually on third down.
“So when I saw what he signed for, I was kind of like, ‘Damn.’ Like, I thought that would have been an easy contract to bring him back here, and from talking to him, I think he wanted to be back here,” McCourty added.
Meyers was the top receiver for New England in 2022, racking up 67 receptions for 804 yards and six touchdowns per Pro Football Reference.
Devin McCourty Believes That Loss of Jakobi Meyers Will Be Big
Besides his production on the field, Meyers was also a leader off of it. McCourty said that the wide receiver was someone that younger teammates could look up to.
“I thought from a leadership standpoint going forward, he’s like that guy, if I’m a coach, I’m saying, ‘Be like Jakobi,” McCourty said. “Undrafted guy, earned it, works his butt off every single day. Everything we said was a weakness for him, he continues to work at, and the things we say are strengths, he just continues to master. Be like him.
“So I think that’s a big loss. Not a very vocal guy, but he’s a guy that you say, ‘Be like him.’ Very similar in the mold of Edelman,” the retired safety added. “Be like him. Come down and crack the safety, which I know you don’t like doing, but we’re going to make you crack 10 times in this game because it’s key to winning — Jakobi did that. So I thought that was a big loss. … That shocked me.”
The New England Patriots are Looking at Replacements for Jakobi Meyers
If the Patriots want to replace Meyers with a proven veteran wide receiver, it won’t be easy. Still, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported that New England has shown interest in DeAndre Hopkins and Jerry Jeudy.
“Sources: The Patriots have called about DeAndre Hopkins and Jerry Jeudy,” Howe tweeted. “They also attended Odell Beckham Jr.’s workout last week in Arizona. They’re in the WR market, but the price point remains a key component.
Current Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and Hopkins have an interesting relationship as Hopkins was traded by the Houston Texans while O’Brien was head coach of the team.
Even after being suspended to start the season, Hopkins ended up finishing 2022 with 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns per Pro Football Reference. The wide receiver has also been to the Pro Bowl five times.
Jeudy caught 67 passes for 972 yards and six touchdowns in 2022 per Pro Football Reference. At 24 years old, he is just beginning to hit his prime and could end up spending plenty of years in New England if acquired.