Instant analysis of Patriots signing WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

New England Patriots fans patiently waited for the team to make a splash in free agency, and they did exactly that by going out and signing former Kansas City Chiefs receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The two sides reportedly agreed on a three-year, $33 million deal, which is a contract that probably feels like a slap in the face for former Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers, who got the same deal from the Las Vegas Raiders.

But this was clearly a situation where the Patriots valued what Smith-Schuster could bring to the team over Meyers. Granted, one thing he doesn’t bring to the team is a receiving option to strike fear into the hearts of opposing defenses.

Smith-Schuster has proved to be a better No. 2 on the field, though he can be a dynamic playmaker. He’s also more physical than Meyers, who didn’t have as many explosive plays after the catch.

According to Pro Football Focus, Meyers finished the 2022 season averaging 3.6 yards after the catch, while Smith-Schuster racked up an average of 5.9 yards.

With that said, the Patriots still need a true No. 1 receiving option to make everything come together. Having Smith-Schuster as the focal point for opposing defenses doesn’t bode well for the team, no matter who is calling the offensive plays.

Adding a high-end playmaker on the outside while Smith-Schuster works underneath would be the move that finally takes the Patriots offense over the top.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire