McCourty gives honest take on Jakobi Meyers leaving Patriots


Jakobi Meyers leaving the New England Patriots this offseason was always a possibility. His contract was expiring and he was one of the top wide receivers in the NFL's 2023 free agent class.

Meyers deciding to sign with the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this week wasn't a massive surprise. The Raiders needed another quality wide receiver and their head coach, Josh McDaniels, knows Meyers well from their days together with the Patriots.

The real surprising part of the whole situation was the contract Meyers signed. It was a three-year deal worth $ 33 million, including $ 24 million guaranteed. It's not a small contract, but it's one that the Patriots easily could have matched to keep the player who led all of their wideouts in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season.

Meyers reveals why he left Patriots to join Raiders in NFL free agency

Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who retired last week after 13 seasons with the franchise, had an honest reaction to Meyers' departure when discussing it Wednesday.

"What I was surprised (by) was Jakobi," McCourty told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show". "I thought what Jakobi signed for for the Raiders was like -- he was our most productive receiver the last two years. And this year he missed I think two or 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 as ‘the guy’ usually on third down.


"So when I saw what he signed for I kind of was like, damn, I thought that would have been an easy contract to bring him back here. From talking to him, I think he wanted to be back here. And 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 also called Meyers' departure "a big loss."

The Patriots' top three wide receivers are now DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne and Tyquan Thornton. Parker was a disappointment in 2022 -- his first year in New England. Bourne had a limited role in many games. Thornton was a rookie and missed four games due to injury.

There's no way the Patriots can go into the 2023 regular season with this group of wide receivers and expect to have a good offense. They need to add a veteran who can make a real impact every week, whether it's a trade for a legit star like DeAndre Hopkins, or someone else.

Meyers isn't irreplaceable, but he was the most productive wide receiver for the Patriots last season and someone quarterback Mac Jones relied on in key situations such as third downs. New England has a massive lack of talent and depth at the skill positions, and this problem needs to be fixed ASAP.