Davante Adams savagely thanks Robert Kraft for one free-agency regret

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft admitted the team made a mistake by parting ways with Jakobi Meyers in free agency.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

Talent began to seep out of Gillette Stadium long before the New England Patriots dynasty fell. Even as the team made three consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 2016-18, the writing was on the wall. Quarterback Tom Brady left the team in 2019. Legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia retired after the 2019 season, and football savant Ernie Adams followed in 2020.

Those three departures were the death knell for the league's most dominant dynasty, but there were plenty of personnel decisions that contributed to the team's unraveling as well.

Team owner Robert Kraft admitted to one of those blunders while speaking with Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams, actress Tiffany Haddish, and entrepreneur Michael Rubin during an appearance on "The Shop."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft regrets letting WR Jakobi Meyers leave

Adams explained that he "learned so much" from wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, who signed with the Raiders before the 2023 season.

"We shouldn't have let him go," Kraft quipped, drawing laughter from the rest of the panel.

Meyers was the prototypical Patriot during his four-year stint in New England. He began his career as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and developed into the team's most consistent offensive threat in the post-Tom Brady era. During his last three years in New England, Meyers led the team with 209 receptions for 2,399 receiving yards.

Adams continued to praise Meyers, calling him the "best-kept secret in the league."

"Just certain small things within his routes," Adams explained. "He's not the fastest guy in the world, so he's really good at changing, he can move within his routes, change your pace while he's running full speed is something, probably one of the best that I've seen so far."

Meyers expressed interest in returning to the Patriots after his rookie contract expired before the 2023 season, but he ultimately signed a three-year, $33 million contract with the Raiders. The Patriots responded by signing controversial receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year, $25.5 million deal.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick claimed that replacing Meyers with Smith-Schuster was never the intention.

"It wasn't a trade," Belichick said. "It wasn't planned that way. It worked out that way."

Either way, the decision backfired. Meyers continued to enjoy success with the Raiders. The 27-year-old wideout reeled in 71 catches for 807 yards and a career-high eight touchdowns in 2023. Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster finished with just 29 receptions for 260 yards and one touchdown. By the end of the season, he spent key moments on the sidelines rather than in the game. Demario Douglas led the Patriots with 531 receiving yards.

Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman didn't understand why the team willingly allowed Meyers to walk out of the building. During an appearance on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd," Edelman noted that Meyers did everything that the Patriots offense looked for in that high-volume receiver position.

"I'm still a little shook on the Jakobi Meyers departure," Edelman said. "I didn't get that. He could separate a lot. He could run routes. He was tough in the run game. He would go in and block the force [defender]. And that's what you preach as a New England receiver: Get open, catch the ball, and block in the run game. Those are the three things you hear all the time. This receiver group we have, it just seems like they're struggling to create separation regardless of the reason. They haven't been able to separate."