Harry and a few other Patriots got new uniforms on Monday, but the injured receiver heading into his third season in the NFL chose a number that was sure to get some attention.
Feast your eyes on the tweet Harry posted on Tuesday night:
As you can imagine, many took Harry to task for what looks like a decision that is in poor taste considering the two men appeared to be on good terms.
Harry and Newton seemed to bond last season, but there was a potential rift created when Harry’s footwork coach took a shot at the quarterback, blaming him for the receiver’s lack of production.
Newton didn’t respond, but Harry made it clear that his trainer’s words weren’t a reflection of his feelings. Newton went to bat for Harry amidst criticism in 2020 and he appeared on the I Am Athlete podcast and spoke about the young receiver being “battered” by the Patriot way in his first two seasons.
Here is a clip posted by Big Crocky:
Harry demanded a trade this offseason before putting together a strong training camp. Most expected him to catch passes again from Newton this year, but the Patriots surprisingly cut the 2015 NFL MVP and named rookie Mac Jones the starter.
Twitter Reacts to Harry’s Tweet
If this makes you feel a little strange, you’re not alone. If you think Harry–of all people–might be moving too soon donning Newton’s number; you’re not alone.
Jolie McGregor took the opportunity to take a shot at Harry and his 2021 performance.
Another person called it “disrespectful.”
It is important to note, for anyone who isn’t aware, Harry wore No. 1 in college. Nelson Agholor, a new Patriot, wore No. 15, which is now Harry’s old number. It is possible Agholor wanted No. 15 and Harry simply gave it to him and went back to his college number.
That said, there is no way Harry thought the switch would happen without some backlash. Also, the photoshopped social media post comes off nasty. The “shhh” emoji kind of puts it over the top in the realm of acrimonious intent. It implies he knows there will be pushback.
It is difficult to imagine Harry being completely oblivious to any part of this dynamic. Perhaps he’s spoken with Newton or maybe the two weren’t as cool as it appeared.
In any case, this is yet another example of how quickly some NFL teams will move on from a former player.
What’s Harry’s Status for the 2021 Season?
Harry asked to be traded, but he reported to training camp, and hasn’t spoken on the subject in weeks. He injured his shouldered diving for a pass from Mac Jones, and is currently on injured reserve.
He will miss at least three weeks. Harry has missed a significant part of all three seasons he’s been in the NFL. Harry has 45 receptions for 414 yards and 4 TDs in 2 seasons.
Perhaps when he returns, Harry will be able to capture some of the magic that convinced the Patriots to draft him with the 29th pick overall, or maybe, it’s not about the number, but the guy wearing the jersey.
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