It seems we’ve been writing, talking and/or anticipating the two sides going their separate ways one way or another for almost a year. One of the latest entries into the Harry’s days in New England are numbered narrative came from USA Today’s Henry McKenna.
According to McKenna, the Patriots have “no use” for Harry at this point.
Harry Never Lived Up to Expectations
Harry was drafted with the final pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. There were hipes he would turn into a No. 1 receiver for Tom Brady thereby extending the dynasty and the G.O.A.T’s stay with the Patriots. Harry struggled mightily in the 2019 season appearing in only 7 games, making 12 receptions for 105 yards and 2 TDs.
Moreover, Harry didn’t win anyone over–perhaps most importantly Brady–with his consistency and approach. Brady bolted ahead of the 2020 seasons, obviously not entirely because of Harry’s struggled. However, you have to wonder if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would have been as attractive to Brady had Harry showed enough as a rookie for the future Hall-of-Famer to feel confident, he’d become a true No. 1 over the next two seasons.
If Brady had his doubts, he was on the money with his suspicions. Harry missed seven more games over the next two seasons. When he was on the field, he wasn’t anywhere near as productive as the Patriots or the fanbase would have hoped.
In 2020 and 2021 combined, Harry compiled a grand total of 45 receptions for 493 yards and 2 TDs. If a star wide receiver had those numbers for a single season, there would be major concern about their ability to be effective moving forward.
So, it’s easy to understand why many have already labeled Harry a bust at the age of 24. Because he’s 24, he still has some time to make an impact, but it seems more likely to happen elsewhere. There are times when a change of scenery can create the jolt a player needs to take a step in their career.
Perhaps Harry will become an example of that concept.
Why the Patriots Don’t Need N’Keal Harry Anymore
New England currently has DeVante Parker (whom they hope will provide what Harry has failed to give them), Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, rookie Tyquan Thornton, Nelson Agholor (who must also show and prove soon) Tre Nixon, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Malcolm Perry and veteran hybrid Ty Montgomery.
Only five or six of those guys will make the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Parker, Meyers, Bourne and Thornton are virtual locks because of their experience, talent and/or youth. Because of that, there are really only two or three spots to claim between Agholor, Nuxon, Montgomery and Perry.
Quite honestly, it would benefit the Patriots if Thornton and Nixon can prove themselves ready for the big time sooner rather than later. Their ascension would help to make Agholor, the most expensive of the crop with his $14.8 million cap hit. If the young speedster shine in training camp and preseason, Agholor could be released or traded.
If he is released, he still has a $10 million dead cap hit, which would save the Patriots just under $5 million. In any case, finding a spot for Harry on the Patriots roster is difficult. It’s time to move on.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Patriots-related breaking news, rumors, content, and more!