A first-round pick out of Arizona State in 2019, Harry has posted just 45 receptions, 414 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 21 career games. The Patriots have seemingly given up on him, and the feeling is mutual, according to Harry’s agent, Jamal Tooson.
“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,” Tooson said. “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.”
Around the NFL, the reactions to Harry’s request has been mixed. Some think the big-bodied (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) wideout can be salvaged and is worth a look from another organization, while others have noted that Harry’s disappointing performance in New England is largely of his own doing.
Maybe Houston? https://t.co/G3IWOCHfKC
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) July 6, 2021
Interesting. Many teams would be interested. The Vikings, 49ers, Saints, Chiefs…The Raiders and Eagles need a lot of help. Many WR take a big step in year three. Do you think Harry is one? https://t.co/qrGLaHQUW6
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) July 6, 2021
“A dominant downfield threat?” 🤔 https://t.co/1VPRcwCRX3
— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) July 6, 2021
Bold move implying BillB doesn't know how to utilize virtually unstoppable downfield talent.
,,,or perhaps not https://t.co/xx9kqIEJWW
— Josh Hermsmeyer (@friscojosh) July 6, 2021
Liked him a lot coming out of college but this seems…weird. https://t.co/Vnll4OoahF
— Stephen White (@sgw94) July 6, 2021
Detroit Lions should have already proposed a trade. https://t.co/MpPGuE5wPn
— Crocky⚡️ (@eric_crocker) July 6, 2021
N’Keal Harry’s name has been an interesting one the last couple years—his 2019 selection (https://t.co/eHS7epgQaA) eventually helped lead to change in the Pats’ scouting department (https://t.co/izpdCXlu5T).
I bet he could find a few rides to the airport from people at Gillette. https://t.co/A24ltNPB3W
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 6, 2021
N’Keal Harry is buried on the Patriots’ depth chart behind Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. Gunner Olszewski, Isaiah Zuber, Tre Nixon, Kristian Wilkerson, Marvin Hall, Devin Smith and Devin Ross are also in the mix. https://t.co/8Vs0ElxoLU
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) July 6, 2021
Harry hasn’t responded well to the pressures and expectations of playing in New England. Even Cam Newton alluded to it. To be outperformed so soundly by an undrafted player, Jakobi Meyers, is damning evidence there’s no anti-N’Keal conspiracy. He just hasn’t been good. https://t.co/UEKcbrlQL7
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) July 6, 2021
Fortunately for Harry, this won’t be the end of the line for his NFL aspirations. A team may decide to throw a late-round pick New England’s way in order to acquire the 23-year-old receiver, and even if Harry is released, he’ll undoubtedly get a look from a team willing to take a flier on the onetime first-round selection.
However, after washing out after only two seasons with his first team, the pressure will be on Harry to perform from the minute he signs or is traded elsewhere.