Polarizing Patriots WR ’Formally’ Requests a Trade

Getty NKeal Harry

The time has come for the New England Patriots and their former 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry to go their separate ways.

The agent for Harry, Jamal Tooson, has formerly requested the Patriots trade his client, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo, citing a lack of opportunities.

Tooson specifically pointed out Harry having only 86 targets through two seasons. Here is the text from Tooson’s statement:

For the past several months, I have been working in cooperation with the Patriots behind the scenes to put a plan in place to allow N’Keal to thrive in New England. Through two seasons, he has 86 targets, which obviously hasn’t met the expectations the Patriots and N’Keal had when they drafted a dominant downfield threat who was virtually unstoppable at the point of attack in college. Following numerous conversations with the Patriots, I believe it’s time for a fresh start and best for both parties if N’Keal moves on before the start of training camp. That is why I have informed the Patriots today I am formally requesting a trade on behalf of my client. N’Keal understands a key ingredient to production is opportunity. He will continue to work hard to develop and refine his craft after missing a large portion of his rookie year to injury. His draft-day expectations for his NFL career have not changed. We are confident success is just around the corner for him and will aggressively pursue it.

Twitter Reaction to Harry’s Request to Be Traded

The reaction from Twitter to Harry’s trade demand was all over the board. NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran pointed out Harry’s struggle to adjust to the Patriot Way. He compares him directly to Jakobi Meyers, a player who came in the same year as Harry, and undrafted, who has far outperformed the more heralded player.

The Boston Herald’s Alexi Iafrato believes Harry’s trade request was unveiled because he had some serious doubts he’d make the roster.

There is no question, Harry was going to be on the bubble when it came to making the 53-man roster. Harry would have needed a strong training camp and preseason to solidify a spot. The coaching staff loves Meyers for obvious reasons. They just spent a boatload of cash to bring in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency.

When you also consider Gunner Olszewski was a Pro Bowl return man in 2020, and consistently improving as a wide receiver, Matthew Slater is a special teams mainstay, 2020’s undrafted free-agent standout Isaiah Zuber seems to have turned the corner, and lastly, seventh-round pick and burner Tre Nixon is also in the mix, the wide receiver room was getting really crowded.

Sports Illustrated’s Mike D’Abate points the blame at Harry, but also acknowledges the lack of opportunities as a factor.

Harry’s Career With the Patriots Was Disappointing

CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr attacked the limited-opportunities narrative with a statistic that highlight Harry’s lack of production with the chances he did get to make a play.

No matter how you look at it, it appears Harry’s tenure with the Patriots is likely coming to an end. One thing is for sure, the past two years have not gone as anyone planned.

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