Morning Sports Update

What NFL experts have to say about Jakobi Meyers as a 2023 free agent

"Those aren't typically the types of players that Bill Belichick spends on in the offseason."

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Jakobi Meyers took the long way home his rookie season.

Tonight, the Celtics face the Hawks in Atlanta at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, the Bruins host the Flyers at 7 p.m.

And on Sunday, the Patriots play the Jets at Gillette Stadium (1 p.m.) in a crucial AFC East matchup.

Jakobi Meyers beyond the 2022 season: Through nine games, Jakobi Meyers has more than twice as many catches (40) as any other Patriots wide receiver. His value to Patriots quarterbacks is clear, as the regular (and advanced) statistics demonstrate.

Following the season, Meyers’ contract expiries. Would the 26-year-old leave New England?

In separate recent examinations of upcoming NFL free agents, both ESPN and Pro Football Focus weighed in on the subject.


PFF writer Brad Spielberger ranked Meyers as the ninth best upcoming free agent, noting that while Bill Belichick may try to keep the wide receiver, history indicates that the Patriots might be willing to let him head elsewhere.

“New England may certainly try to keep Meyers around, likely letting Nelson Agholor reach free agency at the least,” Spielberger wrote, “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.”

ESPN analyst (and former NFL general manager) Mike Tannenbaum took a harsher view of Meyers’ value.

“I definitely like Meyers’ skill set, but he’s also a replaceable player,” Tannenbaum wrote. “Those aren’t typically the types of players that Bill Belichick spends on in the offseason. I’d look for the Patriots to draft a receiver who could develop into a true No. 1 option.”

Of course, Belichick and the Patriots haven’t exactly had the best success using higher draft picks on wide receivers. That said, New England’s 2022 second-round pick, Tyquan Thornton, could prove to be the player that Tannenbaum was referencing. The rookie’s development might be an eventual factor in how the team handles Meyers’ impending free agency.


Trivia: Jakobi Meyers has thrown two touchdown passes in his career. Can you name the players who caught those passes?

(Answer at the bottom.)

Hint: One is a former NFL MVP (2015), while the other was originally a Bengals draft pick who plays for the Texans in 2022.

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