The New England Patriots‘ lone entry on Bleacher Report’s NFL Trade Block Board had been cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
With Gilmore now dealt to the Carolina Panthers for a sixth-round pick, another source of Foxborough trade speculation and rumors has climbed into the publication’s list of 10 players who could be on the move.
B/R Lists N’Keal Harry at No. 9 on the NFL Trade Block Big Board
Would the Patriots pull off another huge trade into the 2021 season? If so, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes it could involve wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
New England Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry is not nearly as proven as Allen Robinson II. However, there’s a better chance that he can be had before the trade deadline. At 2-3, New England is quickly falling behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, and it continues to have little use for Harry. A first-round draft pick in 2019, Harry has become a complete afterthought in New England’s offense. He’s appeared in each of the last two games but has played less than 35 percent of the offensive snaps in each contest. Harry opened the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Harry formally requested a trade in the offseason, and with the Patriots continuing to utilize other pass-catchers, they may now be inclined to grant it. While Harry doesn’t bring a lot of proven production to the table—he has just 47 receptions in three years—a team willing to work with a developmental project should be happy to take a flier on him. The physical upside that made Harry a first-round selection remains in place, and a receiver-needy team like Pittsburgh or Cleveland should be interested in trying to extract that talent.
Would an NFL team still part ways with valuable assets for Harry, and considering the Patriots’ offense isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, can they afford to part ways with any potential weapon in the passing game?
Can the Patriots Afford to Trade N’Keal Harry?
The short answer to that question is yes.
Harry still hasn’t made an impact for the Patriots and if the team can recoup any sort of draft asset for him, they would be best advised to cut their losses. Harry missed most of the season with an injured shoulder and he failed to make an impact in the Week 5 win over the Houston Texans when he had one reception for 9 yards.
It’s time to face the obvious fact: Harry was a bust of a draft pick for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. They missed on players like AJ Brown and DK Metcalf who could have potentially changed the team and even been good enough to entice Tom Brady to stay with the team rather than leaving in free agency for greener pastures. That’s all water under the bridge at this point. The Patriots would be better off giving an opportunity to a practice squad receiver like Tre Nixon or Kristian Wilkerson.
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