Patriots Reportedly Don’t Believe Highest Paid JuJu Smith-Schuster Is One Of Their Top 5 Pass-Catchers

JuJu Smith-Schuster

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Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, the highest-paid receiver on the team, found himself on the sidelines during a crucial end-of-the game drive in the team’s Week 1 against the Eagles.

This decision has raised questions about his standing within the team, as reportedly ‘multiple sources within the organization believe he is not currently among the top five most effective pass-catchers’ on the roster.

According to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, the Patriots chose to rely on rookies Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas, along with veteran Kendrick Bourne, over Smith-Schtuster on that final drive and Wide receivers coach Ross Douglas explained that the decision was based on doing what they thought is best in order to move the ball and score points.

Despite finishing third on the team in snap counts and tying for second with seven targets, Smith-Schuster’s performance was underwhelming, as he managed only four receptions for 33 yards, averaging a mere 8.25 yards per catch.

That has raised concerns about his contribution to the team’s offense.

One significant factor impacting Smith-Schuster’s effectiveness is his surgically repaired knee. Callahan shared that JuJu’s knee is “not at 100%”, leading to diminished explosiveness and run-after-catch ability.

The Patriots decided to sign Smith-Schuster’s in free-agency to a three-year, $25.5 million over Jakobi Meyers, who signed a similar contract with the Las Vegas Raiders,.

In Week 1, Meyers delivered an impressive performance for the Raiders, recording nine receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns against the Denver Broncos.

Recently, NFL Insider Albert Breer reported concerns about Smith-Schuster’s knee, stating that it “could explode at any point” and describing it as a “mess.” However, Smith-Schuster has since refuted these claims, asserting that his knee is strong.

As the Patriots prepare for their Week 2 game against the Miami Dolphins, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s role and effectiveness may become problematic for the Patriots.