With the Patriots’ 2021 season coming to a close, attention turns towards the future. On Monday afternoon, two of the team’s pending free agents spoke with the media, and were asked about continuing their respective futures in New England.
“Oh yeah. I mean, definitely. Honestly, I enjoy being here,” wide receiver Jakobi Meyers said when asked if he hopes to return to the team in 2022. “I enjoy my teammates. But at the end of the day, all I can do is control what I can control, right? So I feel like I did that to the best of my ability, trying to play hard and play tough, and the rest of that is in somebody else’s hands.”
For Meyers particularly, he has less control over what happens than the typical free agent. As a restricted free agent, or RFA, the Patriots can tender him a contract. If they do, they would have the right of first refusal should another offer come up. They also may be entitled to draft pick compensation if Meyers were to sign elsewhere.
This year’s RFA tenders are projected to be anywhere from $2.4 million for just the right of first refusal, to $5.6 million for a first-round compensation pick. Those contracts would be good value for a player that has led the team in receiving in each of the last two seasons. March 8 is the deadline this year for teams to submit RFA tenders – players not tendered by that point would become unrestricted free agents.
Even though the team can dictate his future, that doesn’t seem like an issue for Meyers, who sounds eager to remain with the franchise. “Honestly, I feel like I’ve gotten better as a player, a person, all of it,” Meyers said of his time in New England. “I think about my first day in the league, and just where I was mentally – I just wasn’t who I am today. I just feel like I’m a much better player, a much better man and when you’ve got a situation like that, it’s something you want to hold on to.”
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.