The New England Patriots will look different at the wide receiver position next season after losing Jakobi Meyers and signing JuJu Smith-Shuster — and former longtime Patriot Devin McCourty is not a fan of the moves.
“I’m not going to lie, I would have liked to see Jakobi back over JuJu,” McCourty said on Chris Long’s ‘Green Light' podcast on Thursday. “Just my personal feeling. I just think Jakobi is [the] guy, he’s an undrafted free agent who panned out because of hard work.”
McCourty believes that, after a great season for Meyers, he still has more in the tank.
“To me, when you have guys like that — when you look at Jakobi, you can guess that his better years are still in front of him,” the 35-year-old explained on the podcast. “I just think having that in the locker room for young guys, and I think especially in that [receiver] room over the years, you lose [Julian] Edelman, we haven’t replaced that room with a guy who is New England culture. You just don’t have it.”
After singing as an undrafted free agent with New England in 2019 and playing four seasons with the organization, Meyers signed a three-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders on Mar. 16. McCourty would have liked the Patriots to keep the 26-year-old, rather than bring in someone from another team.
“You’ve got Kendrick Bourne, you had [Nelson] Agholor, you’ve got DeVante Parker — all of those guys are from other teams,” former Patriots safety Devin McCourty continued.
“So now you have JuJu in there, another guy from another team. 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.' This guy wasn’t rated high, and look at him now. He’s the best receiver on our team.”
Jakobi Meyers will now compete for touches with Davante Adams in Las Vegas, while JuJu Smith-Schuster will work to be the top receiver on the Patriots after signing a three-year, $33 million contract on Mar. 17.