The Las Vegas Raiders are making a serious change to their offense with the decision to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to replace Derek Carr. While the two quarterbacks are often considered to be similar, they have vastly different playing styles. Garoppolo is going to hit players for short yardage and hope they make plays with the ball while Carr liked to utilize the deep ball more often.
With a talent deficit at quarterback in the AFC West, the Raiders have decided to load up on weapons on offense. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Las Vegas is signing former New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers to a three-year contract worth $33 million with $21 million of it guaranteed.
Meyers has been the Patriots’ leading receiver for three straight years now and two of those years were under Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. The transition from New England to Las Vegas should be simple for the veteran wide receiver. Meyers now joins an already-stacked offense of Davante Adams, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs and Hunter Renfrow. The Raiders were supposed to have an unstoppable offense of weapons last season but the group never hit its stride. The unit should be even better in 2023 with Meyers joining the fold.
Why Spend Big on a WR?
The Raiders’ biggest needs heading into the offseason were quarterback, offensive line and defense. The team checked quarterback off the list but they still have big needs on the offensive line and all over the defense. Wide receiver was not high on the list of needs yet the team gave $33 million to Meyers.
The Raiders doubled down on offense last year while not making many splash moves on defense. That didn’t work out as the team went 6-11 and the defense was among the worst in the NFL. When the team released Carr and opened up salary cap space, the thought was that they’d use that extra money to stack up the defense. Based on the early goings of free agency, that has not been the case. There’s still plenty of time and money for the Raiders to upgrade the defense but they’ve missed out on a lot of top talent.
Meyers Addresses Raiders Signing
Meyers came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent of the Patriots in 2019. He worked his way up the depth chart and started playing meaningful snaps before becoming the most reliable pass catcher on the team. He’ll now be in a situation where he doesn’t have to be the main focus of the passing game. If anything, he’ll be the third or fourth option on most plays.
For his part, Meyers is very excited about joining the Raiders. After the news broke of his agreement with Las Vegas, he spoke to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson.
“It’s hard to turn down Las Vegas,” Meyers told Anderson. “When you look at their offense, when you look at their coaches. They wanted me, I wanted them. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with the Patriots. I put a lot [of] effort in my time there. I appreciate them, but God works in mysterious ways. I’m blessed.”
Meyers should have an easy time adapting to his new team thanks to all of the familiar faces on the coaching staff.