Patriots Trade Spells ‘End of the Road’ For Bust First-Round Pick: Report

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NFL experts have been predicting N’Keal Harry and the New England Patriots would go their separate ways for weeks. After the Patriots acquired DeVante Parker and a fifth-round pick from the Miami Dolphins and a 2023 third-rounder, it appears the writing on the wall is even more legible.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss believes the N’Keal-Harry project is over in New England.

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“Parker joins a clear-cut top four on the depth chart alongside Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor,” Reiss wrote. “This likely means the end of the road for 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry, who already had a difficult time breaking through and now faces increased competition.”

N’Keal Harry Has Been a Major Disappointment

Over three seasons, Harry has managed just 57 receptions for 598 yards and 4 TDs. Those numbers would be so-so if they were for one season, let alone three. Harry has had issues remaining healthy (he has missed 16 of 49 regular-season games) and productive. When compared to other wide receivers in the same draft class like the Seattle Seahawks’ DK Metcalf, Tennessee Titans’ AJ Brown and the San Francisco 49ers’ Deebo Samuel–all of whom were taken after Harry–have dwarfed the disappointing Patriots’ production.

The deadline to extend players from the 2019 NFL Draft class is coming up on May 2, so it appears the Patriots would have tried to work out a trade for Harry before that time. Considering he likely doesn’t have much trade value, New England might wind up releasing him and saving the $1.198 million they could salvage by cutting ties.

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The Patriots WR Group Has Improved

If you subtract Harry from this list, and add at least one rookie WR the Patriots will select in the upcoming NFL Draft, the group looks a lot better than it has the last two years.

  • DeVante Parker 
  • Nelson Agholor
  • Jakobi Meyers
  • Kendrick Bourne
  • Ty Montgomery
  • Kristian Wilkerson
  • Malcolm Perry
  • Tre Nixon

No one will mistake this group for the task force of fleet-footed beasts the Dolphins have assembled, but along with tight Hunter Henry, Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones should have a little more to work with in 2022.

The move to add Parker added some much-needed spice to a pretty bland offseason for the Patriots. Prior to the deal with the Dolphins, the biggest news around New England’s offseason was the team’s failure to offer cornerback J.C. Jackson a hefty contract.

The Los Angeles Chargers scooped him up, along with a trade with the Chicago Bears to snag Khalil Mack, and the Bolts look like Super Bowl contenders in 2022.

Adding Parker doesn’t make the Patriots Super Bowl contenders–despite what Kendrick Bourne tweeted–but it does at least give New England a chance to have a formidable passing game.

As has been the case the past two seasons, the key to the Patriots’ offense will be in its ability to run the ball effectively. However, if Parker remains healthy, he will give New England a deep-threat component that they haven’t had since Brandin Cooks spent one season with the Patriots back in 2017.

What’s Next For N’Keal Harry?

As for Harry, the Patriots will likely try to trade Harry–even if they can only get a seventh-round pick for him. If they cannot find a taker, expect to see him released. Harry won’t be out of work long. He’s still just 24 years old and he has mounds of talent.

Another NFL team will hop on the opportunity to pull out of Harry what the Patriots couldn’t.

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