Skip to main content

3 New England Patriots wide receiver options to replace Jakobi Meyers

As expected, the New England Patriots lost leading wide receiver Jakobi Meyers during NFL free agency. The young pass-catcher hauled in a three-year, $33 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.

It sets a rather low market for wide receivers in free agency during this cycle, meaning that New England could ultimately go bargain hunting for multiple new players at this position. It’s going to be needed given the struggles of young quarterback Mac Jones as a sophomore last season.

As of right now, DeVante Parker is the Patriots’ leading returning receiver with just 31 catches a season ago. Below, we check in on three wide receiver options for the Patriots as NFL free agency and the offseason play out.

Related: New England Patriots NFL salary cap situation

Mecole Hardman lands in New England

new england patriots sign mecole hardman
Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

There is a good chance that the Patriots view 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton as the heir apparent to Meyers in the slot. He showed some flashes as a rookie last season. It’s now all about getting some outside help.

Despite an injury-plagued 2022 campaign, Hardman has proven that he can be a guy to create matchup issues. He didn’t miss a single game in his first three NFL seasons, averaging 42 receptions for nearly 600 yards while catching 68% of his targets. That same span saw the former Kansas City Chiefs star drop just 11 passes.

These are the types of moves New England should make. Hardman just turned 25 years old and has yet to hit his prime. He’s on the upswing and tremendously talent. He’ll also come in relatively cheap considering the Meyers contract.

Related: NFL free agent trackers and grades

New England Patriots sign D.J. Chark

new england patriots sign d.j. chark
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

We wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats signed two starter-caliber wide receivers given how the market promises to play out at this position. If so, taking a chance on the uber talented Chark could make a ton of sense for New England.

Chark, 26, put up north of 1,000 yards while earning Pro Bowl honors as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2019. However, he has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons. That included missing six games with the Detroit Lions in 2022. At 6-foot-4, he would be that big-bodied outside target that Jones needs in New England.

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade rumors

New England Patriots pull off blockbuster trade

new england patriots trade for deandre hopkins
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With north of $30 million to spend under the NFL salary cap, New England can pull off a splash move this offseason and still find a way to add more free agents. That’s where inquiring about Arizona Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins comes into play.

Hopkins is firmly on the trade block with the asking price said to be a second-round pick and change. That’s a steal for someone who has proven to be among the most dynamic receivers in the game.

  • DeAndre Hopkins stats (2013-22): 853 receptions, 11,298 yards, 71 TD, 62.4% catch rate

In reality, adding Hopkins to the mix would give the Pats their best wide receiver since the days of Randy Moss. That’s not hyperbole. And while he’d come with a $19.45 million cap hit for next season, an extension would be in the cards. This would lower Nuke’s cap hit, enabling the New England Patriots to add more free agents on the market.

See exclusive Sportsnaut videos on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: