Jakobi Meyers is leaving the Patriots — and rejoining his former offensive coordinator.
New England’s top wide receiver from the last three seasons on Tuesday agreed to terms on a three-year, $33 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
The deal includes $21 million in guaranteed money. Its average annual value of $11 million was lower than expected for Meyers, who was the top available wideout in a weak free agent class, and identical to what the Patriots paid fellow wideout Nelson Agholor in 2021 (two years, $22 million).
Still, it’s a significant payday for the 26-year-old Meyers, who joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and became a staple of their offense.
The signing cannot be finalized until the NFL league year opens at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Meyers, who maintained his status as the Patriots’ WR1 even after the team added veterans Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker and second-round draft pick Tyquan Thornton in recent years, battled through multiple injuries to catch 67 passes for 804 yards and a career-high six touchdowns in 14 games this season.
He now reunites with Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, his OC for his first three years in New England, and will catch passes from ex-Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who agreed to terms with Las Vegas on Monday. The Raiders’ talented offense also features receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow, running back Josh Jacobs and tight end Darren Waller.
“It’s hard to turn down Las Vegas,” Meyers told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson. “When you look at their offense, when you look at their coaches. They wanted me, I wanted them. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with the Patriots. I put a lot of effort in my time there. I appreciate them, but God works in mysterious ways. I’m blessed.”
Losing Meyers makes receiver a dire offseason need for the Patriots, who have just Parker, Bourne, Thornton and practice squadders Lynn Bowden and Tre Nixon under contract. Available free agents as of Tuesday morning included JuJu Smith-Schuster, Braxton Berrios, Odell Beckham Jr., DJ Chark, Adam Thielen, Parris Campbell, Mecole Hardman, Marvin Jones, Richie James, Mack Hollins, Chosen Anderson, Jarvis Landry and Allen Lazard, though Lazard reportedly was in talks to join the New York Jets.
With Meyers’ departure creating a particular need in the slot, the Patriots could pursue a trade for the Renfrow, whose role seems likely to diminish following Meyers’ arrival. The undersized Clemson product is coming off an underwhelming and injury-shortened season but had 103 catches for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021 and always has been viewed as a Patriots fit.
Other potential trade candidates include DeAndre Hopkins, Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, all of whom have been rumored to be on the block this offseason.
Meyers is the first internal Patriots free agent to leave New England since the legal tampering period began Monday. New England previously re-signed cornerback Jonathan Jones, special teams captain Matthew Slater, defensive tackle Carl Davis, offensive tackle Conor McDermott, center/guard James Ferentz and linebacker Raekwon McMillan and lost safety Devin McCourty to retirement.