Looking back, it’s a bit ironic that some of Mac Jones’ loftiest praise for Jakobi Meyers came after a joint practice with the Raiders.
Meyers on Tuesday set the receiver market in motion as the free agent opted to leave Jones and the Patriots after reportedly agreeing to a deal with Las Vegas. Now, the New England quarterback faces the prospect of needing to find a new favorite wideout.
Jones spent much of his second professional season singing Meyers’ praises. That dates all the way back to the training camp and the preseason, including joint workouts in Las Vegas ahead of a preseason game with the Raiders. Meyers in one of the practices caught five of six targets during 11-on-11 drills with a pair of touchdowns. In hindsight, it was a nice little tryout for him in front of a potential suitor, but at the time, it was the sort of performance that reaffirmed Meyers’ status as a go-to guy in Jones’ eyes.
“He’s a really smart football player. He’s been one of my close friends since I’ve gotten here, and I trust him,” Jones raved to reporters in Vegas. “We see the game the same way, sometimes without even talking about it. So we’re just working on growing together and making our repertoire a little better with what he sees, how he can help me, how I can help him. Hopefully, we can grow together.
“He’s just a tough, smart football player. I’ll take him on my team — forever, hopefully.”
Yeah, well, so much for that. How Jones reacts to this development will be fascinating. He has had a bumpy couple of seasons in Foxboro, to say the least. This is another wrinkle, and Jones certainly made it clear where he stood all along.
“Jakobi’s one of the best — if not the best — teammates I’ve ever had,” an emotional Jones told reporters following the Patriots’ season-ending loss to the Bills in January. “He’s a great person. He comes to work every day, doesn’t complain. Does everything right. And he deserves everything that’s coming his way. So, hopefully, it’s with us. Yeah, he means a lot to me.”
Perhaps there’s a dynamite contingency plan in place for the Patriots. A big point of contention in 2022 was obviously the coaching staff, and New England addressed that by replacing Matt Patricia with Bill O’Brien. It’s hard to see Bill Belichick and his staff finding a suitable replacement for Meyers, though, at least knowing what we know about the duo’s friendship.