Versatile WR Called ‘Ideal Fit’ for Chiefs Offense in Free Agency

Jakobi Meyers

Getty New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers is a free agent in 2023.

The Kansas City Chiefs have some big decisions to make in March as NFL free agency begins on the 15th of the month.

Chief among them is what to do at the wide receiver position. Veterans JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Justin Watson are all unrestricted free agents in 2023. That leaves Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore and Justyn Ross under contract with several WRs signed to reserve/future deals (John Ross, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Cornell Powell, Ty Fryfogle and running back hybrid Jerrion Ealy).

Depending on what general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid decide to do with their UFAs, they could look to free agency to replace someone like Hardman — who battled through an injury-ridden campaign in 2022 — or Smith-Schuster if he prices himself out of Kansas City. Valdes-Scantling was also named as a cut candidate because of his cap hit, so Veach has some options to consider.

If KC does elect to bring in a new playmaker, Heavy on Sports NFL insider Matt Lombardo suggested New England Patriots free agent wide receiver Jakobi Meyers as an “ideal fit” for Reid’s offense during a segment of “The Matt Lombardo Show.”

Lombardo Views Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers as ‘Matchup Dictator’ for Chiefs & Patrick Mahomes

“Jakobi Meyers might just be an ideal fit for the Chiefs offense,” Lombardo began before explaining this scheme fit. “Especially how Kansas City utilizes their wide receivers, particularly with yards after the catch.”

Lombardo continued: “Meyers’ 4.63-second speed would certainly soften some of the blow for losing Tyreek Hill last offseason, and his versatility to line up in the slot, as well as out wide — as a potential matchup dictator [for] opposing secondaries — would make him a really fascinating fit.”

Here is a look at Meyers’ production in New England last season with Mac Jones and rookie Bailey Zappe throwing him the football:

  • 67 receptions for 804 yards in 14 games (69.8% catch rate).
  • Six receiving touchdowns.
  • 38 first down receptions.
  • 12 yards per catch, 57.4 yards per game.

Those numbers would rank Meyers third on the Chiefs in most categories — without the benefit of Patrick Mahomes II running the offense — behind just Travis Kelce and Smith-Schuster.

“Dropping him in an offense alongside Patrick Mahomes? Well, that just might elevate the Chiefs passing game to new heights,” Lombardo concluded. After a Super Bowl victory and an MVP campaign for the Chiefs QB in 2022, that’s a scary thought!

How Much Might Jakobi Meyers Cost in Free Agency?

The only thing about Meyers that might not fit in Kansas City is his price tag. Spotrac currently values the Patriots wideout at $12.5 million per year in 2023’s expected booming WR market.

It doesn’t help that the free agency pool is devoid of talent at this position, and someone like Meyers could cash in because he’s one of the best of the bunch this year. A salary like that could also price KC out.

There is one way the Chiefs could get involved in a Meyers acquisition, however, and it would probably entail moving on from someone like MVS. We mentioned in the intro that Valdes-Scantling is considered a cut candidate after one season because of his cap hit.

According to Over the Cap, Kansas City could save $9 million in 2023 by designating MVS as a post-June 1 cut. In doing this, they would also save another $12 million in 2024, sacrificing just $2 million each season.

Despite performing well in the playoffs, Valdes-Scantling underperformed during the regular season with worse numbers than Meyers in a way more pass-heavy offense. He finished with just 687 receiving yards, which was three shy of his career campaign in 2020.

Meyers also had more touchdowns than MVS in 2022, with six compared to two.

Coupled with letting Hardman walk, the two departures could free up enough space for someone like Meyers. If the Chiefs then re-sign Smith-Schuster as expected, you’d enter the season with a four-headed dragon of Kelce, JuJu, Meyers and Toney with pass-catchers like Moore, Ross, Noah Gray and Jody Fortson as depth.