Ex-NFL Exec Believes Patriots Made Most Head-Scratching Offseason Move

Others in the Patriots locker room might've felt this way, too


March 23

The Patriots took a questionable approach to the wide receiver position upon the opening of NFL free agency.

First, New England let homegrown Jakobi Meyers walk and sign a surprisingly team-friendly deal with Josh McDaniels’ Raiders. Shortly thereafter, New England signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to the same three-year, $33 million contract Meyers inked in Las Vegas, although the wideouts’ new deals differ in terms of structure.

If you ask former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum, the Patriots bringing in Smith-Schuster was the most head-scratching NFL offseason move as of Thursday morning.

“While I like the player, I thought New England could have used more speed, rather than another possession receiver,” Tannenbaum wrote.

Tannenbaum’s ESPN colleague, NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid, co-signed the take.

“The Patriots needed wide receiver help, but with Jakobi Meyers getting an identical contract from the Raiders, why not just re-sign him? Smith-Schuster is coming off a productive season with the Chiefs, but Meyers is still the better player.”

Tannenbaum and Reid hardly are the only ones of this opinion. Devin McCourty, one of the most respected Patriots in recent memory and an all-time favorite of Bill Belichick, thought New England would have been better off re-signing Meyers instead of letting him go and replacing him with Smith-Schuster.

Personnel aside, the Patriots offense should function better under the direction of a legitimate, proven offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien. But New England certainly could come to regret not keeping Meyers in house.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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