Patriots WR Swoops In to Take N’Keal Harry’s Old Uniform Number

Getty N'Keal Harry

NFL players move quickly when a number they want becomes available. N’Keal Harry did it soon after Cam Newton was released ahead of the 2021 season.

The same happened with the No. 1 jersey after Harry was traded to the Chicago Bears for a seventh-round pick last week. New England Patriots receiver DeVante Parker will be the next player to don the coveted number beginning during the 2022 season.

According to ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss, Parker had been wearing No. 11 during spring practices, but when Harry left the team, he didn’t waste any time grabbing the number.


Best Players to Wear the No. 1 Jersey in Patriots History

The NFL just began allowing players outside of quarterbacks, kickers, and punters to wear single digits in 2021. Several players at previously locked-out positions switched their numbers to the ones they wore in college, where those restrictions weren’t in place.

Because of the previous block out of the number, the Patriots haven’t had a ton of players wear No. 1. Specifically, five players have worn the number in team history: Newton, Tony Franklin, John Smith, Harry, and Eric Schubert.

Smith, the team’s long-time kicker (1974-83) has the highest Approximate Value at 31 according to Pro Football Reference’s metric among the players who have worn No. 1. Parker doesn’t have a ton to live up to in this regard.

The path to becoming the best player to wear No. 1 for the Patriots is relatively easy.


Patriots Notes and Quotes

  • Former Patriots QB Cam Newton Could Land With the Cleveland Browns

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, there is talk that the Browns could have some interest in signing Cam Newton. The Browns just traded for Deshaun Watson and signed him to a 5-year, $230 million deal. However, Watson could miss the entire 2022 season on suspension stemming from sexual misconduct lawsuits.

Cleveland moved on from Baker Mayfield, who was traded to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2024. Newton landed with the Panthers and played in 8 games in 2021, starting 5 of them after the Patriots released him before the beginning of the season. There are some questions about whether Newton can still play in the NFL. If Florio’s report is true, it seems Newton may get another opportunity to prove he’s still worthy of a starting spot.

  • Asante Samuel is Going Off on Bill Belichick Again

Ever since Samuel retired, he hasn’t been shy about criticizing Bill Belichick. In his most recent rant, Samuel claims the Patriots players have been “brainwashed” by the legendary head coach. Samuel also says that Belichick must win another Super Bowl if he wants to be considered the greatest coach of all time.

At this point, in Samuel’s eyes, the six Belichick was more about Tom Brady’s presence than anything else.

As many have said, giving either Belichick or Brady all of the credit is tough. Football is the ultimate team sport, so no one man can usually claim all of the glory for the kinds of accomplishments the Patriots had over a 20-year career.

Still, it is fun to debate topics that can never truly be proven one way or another.

Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Patriots-related breaking news, rumors, content, and more!

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