Bill Belichick made a lot of mistakes when building this year's Patriots roster, especially in free agency. One of his biggest blunders was letting wide receiver Jakobi Meyers depart to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency and signing JuJu Smith-Schuster to replace him.
Meyers is off to a great start with the Raiders while Smith-Schuster has been a massive bust for New England, leading many to question Belichick's decision. When asked about it during Wednesday morning's press conference, Belichick had this to say:
While Belichick claims that he prioritized Meyers in free agency and was close in negotiations, Meyers obviously doesn't feel the same way.
Meyers ended up getting a three-year, $33 million deal with Las Vegas, $21 million of which was guaranteed. The following day, Smith-Schuster signed a three-year deal worth $25 million ($16 million guaranteed).
While the length of both contracts is the same, the difference in both total dollars and guaranteed money is pretty significant. It's clear that Belichick was not willing to go the extra mile to retain Meyers even though he led New England in receiving yards in 2022 (by a lot) and 2021.
In four games with the Raiders so far, Meyers has racked up 25 catches on 36 targets for 274 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, putting him on pace for his first career 1,000-yard season. Smith-Schuster, on the other hand, on the other hand, has been a non-factor with just 14 catches on 25 targets for 86 yards and no touchdowns.
It's clear that Belichick made the wrong move here, and now he's trying to placate angry Patriots fans by revising history. If Meyers was really a priority for Belichick, he would likely still be playing for New England.
Instead, he's playing for Belichick's old offensive coordinator in Vegas, which hurts even more.
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