Does Jakobi Meyers deserve to be paid like one of the best receivers in the NFL?
The Patriots will offer their own answer to that question by Tuesday afternoon.
New England has until 4 p.m. ET to place one of three tags — exclusive franchise tag, non-exclusive franchise tag and transition tag — on Meyers. Should the Patriots decide against tagging Meyers, they’ll have until March 15 (the start of NFL free agency) to sign the veteran receiver to a new contract. After that, Meyers will be free to sign anywhere.
In all likelihood, the Patriots won’t tag Meyers. Although a highly respected and productive receiver, Meyers isn’t an elite weapon and shouldn’t be paid as such. If New England assigns him a franchise tag, it’ll pay him $19,743,000 next season, with the transition tag resulting in a salary of $17,991,000.
Of the three tags, the non-exclusive tag is the most common while the transition tag is the least common. Here are the primary differences between all three:
Non-exclusive franchise tag: Based upon the top five salaries at the player’s respective position. A player who receives this tag can negotiate with other teams, but the original team has the first right to refuse or match the contract. If the original franchise refuses to match, they receive two first-round draft picks from the team that signs the player.
Exclusive franchise tag: Based upon the top five salaries at the player’s respective position. A player who receives the tag can’t negotiate with other teams.
Transition tag: Based upon the top 10 salaries at the player’s respective position. Other teams can negotiate with the player, and the original team would not receive draft-pick compensation if the player signs elsewhere.
Meyers is considered the best free agent receiver in this year’s class and could fetch a large contract on the open market. Latest reports indicate the 26-year-old could earn an average salary of roughly $12 million.
The Patriots reportedly want Meyers back but likely will allow him to test free agency while hoping he returns and gives them a chance to match offers.
Meyers enjoyed another strong campaign in 2022, catching 67 passes for 804 yards and a career-high six touchdowns while playing in 14 games. He was Mac Jones’ most reliable and trusted target over the last two seasons.