Jakobi Meyers has been the New England Patriots’ most reliable receiver in each of the last three seasons.
He hopes they won’t need to find a new one in 2023.
Meyers is set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in March. He told reporters after Sunday’s 23-21 win over the Miami Dolphins that he ideally would like to re-sign with the Patriots, with whom he’s spent his entire four-year NFL career.
“I’m hoping so,” Meyers said, via MassLive.com. “That’s the ultimate world — that’s kind of my dream. But you never know. At the end of the day, I just try to take it day by day. If I’m here, I’m here.”
The Patriots could have competition for Meyers’ services, however. With most of the talented 2019 receiver class already receiving contract extensions, Meyers is arguably the best wideout available in a lean crop of impending free agents. Other notable names in that group include JuJu Smith-Schuster, Allen Lazard, Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Mack Hollins and New England’s Nelson Agholor.
Meyers leads the Patriots in receiving yards (771) and receiving touchdowns (five) this season and is tied with running back Rhamondre Stevenson for the team lead in receptions (64) despite missing three games with injuries. He’s on pace to become just the second player in the Bill Belichick era to finish as New England’s leading receiver in three consecutive seasons, joining Wes Welker (five straight from 2008-12).
Against Miami on Sunday, Meyers caught a team-high six catches on nine targets for 48 yards and a 1-yard touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner. He also extended two drives by drawing defensive penalties on third down.
“He’s worked hard and gotten better every year and expanded what he can do,” Belichick said after the game. “Whether it’s blocking the running game, running option-type routes, going down the field, making plays in single coverage outside. He’s got a good feel. He’s got a good concentration. He’s smart. He’s tough. He’s come through for us in a lot of big situations.
“But his progression has been a pretty steady incline since he got here coming out of college at NC State, after he converted from quarterback to receiver. He just works hard, keeps grinding, keeps getting better.”
Meyers suffered a shoulder injury on his fourth-quarter touchdown catch and did not return to the game, but he said he “should” be able to play Sunday against the Bills. A win over Buffalo would guarantee the Patriots a playoff spot, while a loss would require three other AFC playoff hopefuls to lose, as well.