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Experts view JuJu Smith-Schuster as most ‘head-scratching signing’ of free agency




“Why not just re-sign (Jakobi Meyers)?”

Some ESPN experts don’t understand why the Patriots parted ways with Jakobi Meyers and signed JuJu Smith-Schuster. Reed Hoffmann/ AP Photo

The Patriots surprised many this offseason when they essentially swapped Jakobi Meyers for JuJu Smith-Schuster.

New England let Meyers sign a three-year, $33 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders and proceeded to bring Smith-Schuster in on a three-year, $33 million deal of his own.

Many have questioned the decision, including former Patriots Devin McCourty and Tedy Bruschi.

“That better be just the start,” Bruschi said. “Because there is no cornerback in the AFC East that’s looking at that move is scared.”


Bruschi said Mac Jones needs more wide receivers who are reliable and can create separation. McCourty has always admired Meyers’ work ethic and how he blossomed into a key contributor after going undrafted.

“I thought Jakobi would have been a great fit for younger guys that you bring in there to say, ‘All right, this is how I become a good football player,” McCourty said. “This guy wasn’t rated high, and look at him now. He’s the best receiver on our team.’”

Other NFL experts agreed with those sentiments. When asked to pinpoint the most “head-scratching signing” of the offseason, both senior Andscape writer Jordan Reid and NFL front office insider Mike Tannenbaum chose Smith-Schuster.

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

Tannenbaum said that while he likes Smith-Schuster’s skill set, he believes the Patriots could have used more speed, rather than another possession player.

Sports analytics writer Seth Walder called the Meyers signing for the Raiders the best overall free agent signing and said getting him for $11 million a year is an “absolute bargain.”

NFL draft analyst Matt Miller was much higher on the move and others the Patriots made, referring to them as the team that improved the most after the past week of moves.


“Going from Matt Patricia/Joe Judge to Bill O’Brien at offensive coordinator was by itself a big enough move to warrant inclusion,” Miller wrote. “But pass-catchers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki are also huge additions to boost the play of third-year quarterback Mac Jones.”

Both players are 26 years old. Smith-Schuster (6-foot-1, 215 pounds) finished with 78 catches for 933 yards and three touchdowns last season. Meyers (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) caught 67 passes for 804 yards and six TDs.

Source: Boston Globe

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