The end of the road appears to be in sight for N’Keal Harry and the New England Patriots. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, who is quoting Harry’s agent, Jamal Tooson, the wide receiver and the team have had “positive dialogue ... about exploring trade possibilities.”
Harry being part of trade speculation is nothing new. Last offseason, Tooson publicly demanded his client be traded after two sub-par seasons in New England. The former first-round draft pick did not get sent elsewhere, however. Instead, he remained on the Patriots roster throughout a 2021 campaign that turned into yet another disappointing experience for the 24-year-old.
The Patriots’ fourth option at wide receiver, Harry took the field for just 28.3 percent of the team’s offensive snaps last year. He caught 12 passes for 184 yards, with his most notable play arguably being a lost fumble on a muffed punt against the Buffalo Bills in Week 13.
All in all, Harry has now appeared in a combined 35 regular season and playoff games over the course of his NFL career. Serving primarily as a depth option and blocking receiver, he has registered just 59 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns.
Harry was the second wide receiver to come off the board in what turned out to be a strong 2019 draft at the position. Unlike Marquise Brown (1-25/Baltimore), Deebo Samuel (2-36/San Francisco), A.J. Brown (2-51/Tennessee) and DK Metcalf (2-64/Seattle), however, he never established himself as a starting-caliber receiver; injuries and inconsistent play have hurt Harry and in turn allowed him to play only a limited role in New England.
A fresh start would therefore probably be the best for all parties involved, but so far nothing has materialized. That said, the Patriots adding another big-bodied wideout this offseason — DeVante Parker was acquired via trade from the Miami Dolphins earlier this month — might create some momentum for a trade.
In the meantime, Harry is apparently trying to stay prepared. While not participating in New England’s voluntary offseason workout program thus far, his agent claims that he “understands what’s at stake this season and is doing his part to make sure he will be ready.”