The 2023 free agent wide receiver class didn’t include many high-profile options, and the best pass catcher is now off the board. Former New England Patriots wideout Jakobi Meyers has agreed to terms on a three-year, $33 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders that includes $21 million in guarantees.
Jakobi Meyers, Las Vegas Raiders Agree to 3-Year Contract
The Patriots reportedly had an interest in re-signing Meyers, whom they signed as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina State in 2019. Instead, Meyers — New England’s leading receiver in each of the last three seasons — will head to Las Vegas, where he’ll reunite with former Patriots offensive coordinator and current Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels.
Meyers, 26, famously failed to score a touchdown in either of his first two NFL seasons, but he’s racked up eight since 2021. The 6’2”, 200-pounder has managed at least 50 receptions and 700 yards in each of the past three years.
Although Meyers had been projected to earn an annual salary potentially nearing $15 million, his $11 million average ranks just 30th among wide receivers. He’ll earn the same yearly average Nelson Agholor collected with the Patriots. Meyers’ deal also comes in below recent contracts signed by Michael Gallup and Curtis Samuel.
Jakobi Meyers Analysis: Raiders Bring in Top Free Agent To Build Best Skill Group in the NFL
The Raiders add one of, if not the top receiver in free agency, supplementing an impressive receiving corps that includes Hunter Renfrow, Davante Adams, and Darren Waller, with Josh Jacobs running the ball.
Jimmy Garoppolo has developed a reputation, fairly or not, for being a quarterback dependent on a good scheme and a good supporting cast. Maximizing what’s possible for him is a great move for Las Vegas.
Not only is Meyers familiar with Garoppolo, but he’s also familiar with McDaniels as well — meaning that Garoppolo gets to pair high-level offensive design with a receiver he has familiarity with.
As the AFC West grows increasingly more talented, the Raiders have turned up the heat to make sure that their skill-position players are better than their rivals — potentially allowing themselves to close the gap between them and the Chiefs and Chargers.
Now, Las Vegas may have the best skill-position group not just in the division but in the NFL as well, supporting a point-guard-type quarterback who has a history of allowing those players to do what they do best.
On top of that, the Raiders have a diverse skill group. With a do-everything receiver like Adams, a field-stretching tight end with Waller, and an underneath slot option like Renfrow, they now also have a fantastic contested-catch option in Meyers. Meaning they might have an answer to every problem a defense could throw at them.
This move alone won’t catapult the Raiders into contention as AFC West favorites, but it does move them quite a bit closer.