New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers is the top free agent at his position, which means he’s due for a massive contract. Or, maybe not, if the latest reports are to be believed. According to Phil Perry of NBC Sports, Meyers is currently expected to receive a deal in the $12-15 million per year range. Compare this to last year when Christian Kirk received an $18 million per year contract and, if this report is true, you can see that Meyers should be pretty affordable and be in play for several teams.
Jakobi Meyers Only Expected to Receive $12-15 Million Annual Contract
Generally speaking, player salaries increase every single year along with the salary cap. Because of this, we can typically assume that, with all else being equal, a player that hits free agency in 2022 should receive more than a player that reached the open market in 2021.
However, that appears to not be the case here. From a production standpoint, Meyers are Kirk post remarkably similar profiles throughout their first four years in the league. To date, Meyers has recorded 235 receptions for 2,758 yards and eight touchdowns while primarily dealing with poor quarterback play, while Kirk had 236 receptions for 2,902 yards and 17 touchdowns when he hit free agency. Additionally, Meyers beat Kirk in yards per route run last year in 2022, even though Meyers had Mac Jones and Matt Patricia, while Kirk had Trevor Lawrence.
Jakobi Meyers making plays pic.twitter.com/JuvTmuOzgQ
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) February 26, 2023
The NFL apparently doesn’t feel like Kirk and Meyers are comparable players, but the traditional and advanced numbers disagree with that assessment. The Jaguars have no regrets about the Christian Kirk contract, so if he’s truly worth $18 million a year, then getting Jakobi Meyers for $12-15 is a fantastic deal.
Which Teams Could Get Him?
Meyers has been the only consistent part of the New England passing attack ever since Tom Brady left, so it’s safe to assume that the Patriots would love to bring him back. While he may not be Wes Welker, he has found a way to remain the focal point despite the inclusions of Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, and Tyquan Thornton. Armed with over $36 million in cap space, the Patriots would probably be thrilled to sign Jakobi Meyers to that projected contract.
If he leaves, however, it’s hard to imagine a better fit than the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens desperately need another receiver, especially considering how awful their entire offseason has been to this point. Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, and Jakobi Meyers aren’t exactly the reincarnation of the 2004 Indianapolis Colts, but they’re a good enough unit for a quarterback to find success. Or, perhaps the Ravens go after a different Patriots free agent.
The Los Angeles Chargers are also in need of another receiver, and while they’d still need to move some money around, they might be able to make this modest contract fit under the salary cap. After all, the Chargers have plenty of cut candidates that are likely on their way out.
If Meyers wants to chase a ring, then the best choice is the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City is currently right at the salary cap, but they can erase all their financial woes by cutting Frank Clark. The team could use another receiver with Juju Smith-Schuster set to hit free agency, and Meyers is an upgrade. Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore offer plenty of upside, but the Chiefs could use a reliable weapon with a safe floor.
Honorable Mention: Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears
Main Photo: Bob Breidenbach – USA Today Sports