Patriots fans might not have many fond memories of Cam Newton’s time in New England, but Jakobi Meyers does.
Meyers now is the best and most trusted receiver in the Patriots offense, though that wasn’t always the case. The 2019 undrafted free agent saw little playing time during his rookie season, catching only 26 passes from Tom Brady for 359 yards. And it was more of the same early in 2020 with Newton at quarterback, as Meyers hardly played the first three weeks and was a healthy scratch in Weeks 4 and 5.
But everything changed in Week 6 of that season. Meyers caught four passes for 60 yards and went on to finish the season as New England’s leader in receptions and receiving yards.
What sparked the turnaround? According to Meyers, it might not have been possible without Newton.
“Not too many people know this, man, but Cam really kinda saved my career,” Meyers recently said while speaking with former NC State teammate Emeka Emezie during a Twitch stream on Emezie’s channel. ” … When Cam first got there — that was my second year in the league, and it was still at a point, when the season first started, I wasn’t playing. They would take me to games, they would sit me. So, I wouldn’t even sit on the sideline. I would up in the box — a healthy scratch. And that’s really not the best thing to be in the NFL. …
“Probably like the sixth or seventh game of the season, my mood had completely changed. I wasn’t talking. I had headphones on every day in the building. I was really going through it. (Newton) just came to me and was like, ‘I can see it, man, I can see it. You’re a good player but you’re just in your own head right now. Just keep going, know what I mean? When your number’s called, you’ll be all right.’ But I was down. He came and … really lifted me up. And then I finally got my chance, he was giving me the ball. He was feeding me. Stayed positive. Whenever he went training, he’d take me with him.”
Meyers added: “Cam was really a great quarterback to play with. I’ve enjoyed all the quarterbacks I’ve played with. But, as far as lifting me up as a person and at the same time really helping me as a player, nah, he definitely (helped).”
Meyers appears to have a similar relationship with current Patriots starting quarterback Mac Jones. Both players have spoken openly about becoming great friends off the field, and the two also have formed a dynamic connection on the field.