Patriots WR Drawing Trade Interest From NFL Teams: Report

Getty NKeal Harry

Things haven’t gone as planned for N’Keal Harry with the New England Patriots, but there are still some NFL teams who reportedly have some interest in the former first-round pick.

Per Kevin Patra of NFL Network, multiple teams have reached out to the Patriots to check on his availability in a trade.

The news drew a reaction from most Patriots beat writers and other media members, and the tone was similar in most of the subsequent Twitter posts.

Most seem to think Harry and the Patriots would benefit from parting ways, and it’s tough to argue with that notion.

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Harry Has Been a Bust in New England

Through his first two seasons in the NFL, Harry has made just 45 catches for 414 yards and 4 TDs. He’s also missed 11 of 32 games, so there are also some durability concerns in addition to modest on-field production. The story gets worse for Harry when you compare him to other wide receivers taken in the 2019 draft after the Patriots selected him 32nd overall.

The following receivers were all selected after Harry in 2019. I’ve added their draft position and statistical production in two seasons, per Pro Football Reference, for more perspective.

  • 36th – Deebo Samuel – 90 receptions for 1,193 yards 4 TDs
  • 51st – A.J. Brown – 122 receptions for 2,126 yards, 19 TDs
  • 56th – Mecole Hardman – 67 receptions for 1,098 yards, 10 TDs
  • 64th – DK Metcalf – 141 receptions for 2,203 yards, 17 TDs
  • 66th – Diontae Johnson – 147 receptions for 1,603 yards, 12 TDs
  • 76th – Terry McLaurin – 145 receptions for 2,037 yards, 11 TDs
  • 149th – Hunter Renfrow – 105 receptions for 1,261 yards, 6 TDs
  • 171st – Darius Slayton – 98 receptions for 1,491 yards, 11 TDs

Cam Newton talked about Harry being “battered” by the Patriot way, but he sounded hopeful that the 23-year-old might be able to have a breakout third season in New England with him. Newton will be a free agent on March 17, and his return to the Patriots is far from a foregone conclusion. 

Harry is still under contract, but he’s done nothing to make himself an untouchable or even a firm part of the team’s future moving forward. Because of this, both Newton and Harry might be continuing their careers elsewhere. 


The Potential Return for Harry

Based on Harry’s youth and physical gifts, he still has some upside. However, it would be difficult to imagine the Patriots fetching anything more than a fourth-round pick for him at this point.

I’ve heard some mentioning a third-round selection, but that seems a bit high for a player who hasn’t accomplished much as a pro. Even if a fourth-rounder is all the Patriots can get for Harry, it would be a smart trade. The 2021 wide receiver class is deep.

That is still a major area of need for the Patriots, and they would be wise to draft multiple players at that position.

They still have the likes of Isaiah Zuber and Kristian Wilkerson on the practice squad. Either or both could develop into contributors. However, New England needs as many chances as possible to find their version of Johnson, Samuel, and Metcalf.

Grabbing a fourth-rounder might be the seed they need to collect a diamond in the rough.

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