Next Pats Podcast

Jakobi Meyers on Mac Jones: ‘You could tell things would go bad'

The former Patriots wide receiver believes the team did a poor job of setting Mac Jones up to succeed.

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Jakobi Meyers watched the New England Patriots unravel from afar in 2023.

The former Patriots wide receiver signed a three-year, $33 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders last spring after failing to find common ground with New England. The Pats opted to sign JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year deal worth roughly $25.5 million instead.

Meyers revealed the Patriots were unwilling to budge over a $1 million difference from Las Vegas' offer. That was a poor decision in hindsight as Meyers enjoyed the most productive season of his career. Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster struggled to stay on the field. When he was healthy enough to suit up, he was virtually a non-factor.

Without Meyers, the Patriots' wide receiving corps left plenty to be desired. Rookie DeMario "Pop" Douglas led the team with 561 receiving yards and Kendrick Bourne has the most touchdowns among wideouts with four despite only playing in eight games.

The lack of talent on offense was a factor in quarterback Mac Jones' demise. Jones, a Pro Bowler in his rookie season, was benched a handful of times during the 2023 campaign before Bailey Zappe took over for the final month. While Jones undoubtedly was deserving of blame for the Patriots' 4-13 record, Meyers is disappointed with how the team has handled its former first-round QB. He spoke at length about the situation on a new Next Pats Podcast with Phil Perry.

🔊 Next Pats Podcast: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jakobi Meyers on what happened with Mac Jones | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Honestly, man, I really don't like it," Meyers told Perry. "And this isn't a knock on Zap (Bailey Zappe), because Zap is a dog too. I like my boy, I'm happy he's doing well too. But man, how that went down with Mac, I kind of watched it all unfold the last couple of years and I feel like you could've seen it a couple years ago and tell that it would end up bad.

"I don't like singling people out, but I think they had to meet him a little bit more. 'Cause I know he's in the building working. I can't name too many people working harder than him. I hate to see it for him, I really do."

Perry asked Meyers to clarify whether he meant the Patriots should have surrounded Jones with more talent.

"Yeah, to help him. Like talent, coaching, you name it," Meyers answered. "Just putting him in a better position to win I think would've helped their program a lot."

Meyers built a strong rapport with Jones over his final two seasons with New England. Would he have been able to help prevent what has become of Jones' career?

"I don't know if I'm that powerful, but I promise you I probably would have done my best to help because I understand the stress that comes with playing that position," he said. "That position for that team and that city too at the same time, I know it's tough. I can guarantee that I would've done my best to help, but I also know the guys in that room were trying their best to help him too. It's just a tough situation for him."

Also in the Meyers interview:

  • Do the Patriots need to add a WR?
  • Does he feel vindicated after a strong season in Las Vegas?
  • How close was he to re-signing with the Patriots?
  • Thoughts on Jerod Mayo.
  • Surprised Bill Belichick wasn't hired anywhere?
  • Can Mac Jones' career be salvaged?
  • What happened with Josh McDaniels in Vegas?
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