Patriots Polarizing WR No-Shows Early Workouts

Getty N'Keal Harry

Time is seemingly winding up for the New England Patriots and their disappointing young wide receiver N’Keal Harry. With many experts predicting the team will trade or release Harry before the start of the 2022 season, the 24-year-old elected not to attend the team’s voluntary workouts, which began on Tuesday in Foxborough.

NESN’s Zack Cox took note of Harry’s Instagram post which seemed to prove he wasn’t in Foxborough for the workouts.

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Since the Patriots tabbed Harry with the 32nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, he has fallen short of expectations. In three seasons, Harry has played in just 33 of a possible 49 regular-season games. The former Arizona State star has only started in 18 of those contests.

N’Keal Harry Has Been Ineffective With the Patriots

It’s not as if injuries have been the only aspect of Harry’s disappointing stint in New England. He’s been largely ineffective even when he’s been on the field.

Harry has managed just 57 receptions for 598 yards and 4 TDs in his NFL career. On the bright side, he has established himself as an excellent blocker, but that’s well beneath the level of impact most would want from a wide receiver with Harry’s talent and draft position.

The writing was seemingly on the wall for Harry after his subpar 2021 campaign. He is in a position to get an extension if the Patriots keep him on the roster, which suggests Bill Belichick would likely make the decision for the two sides to part ways. The chances of Harry remaining with the Patriots took another hit when the team swung a deal to acquire DeVante Parker from the Miami Dolphins.

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At 6’3″ and 219 pounds, Parker is very similar in stature to Harry. However, Parker has been far more productive. The year Harry was drafted in the first round by the Patriots, Parker posted the best season of his NFL career for New England’s division rivals.

That season, Parker hauled in 72 receptions for 1,202 yards and 9 TDs. Those single-season totals dwarf what Harry has done in all three of his seasons combined. New England also figures to add a rookie receiver or two in the 2022 NFL Draft.

That would mean the Patriots should have Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, and the rookie(s) even if they move on from Harry. Throw in tight ends Hunter Henry and who Patriots owner Robert Kraft hopes will be a resurgent Jonnu Smith, and quarterback Mac Jones should have a much healthier set of options to throw to in 2022.

Will N’Keal Harry Ever Make an Impact in the NFL?

Harry should get a good opportunity to save his career whenever he moves on to the NFL city. He’s still young, physical, and has shown some flashes of becoming the kind of downfield weapon in the NFL as he was in college.

Unfortunately for Harry and the Patriots, he just couldn’t seize the time in New England. It would be a surprise if the Patriots can get anything more than a sixth-round pick for Harry if they trade him ahead of the draft. Because of this, it seems more likely New England will simply cut their losses by releasing him.

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