After spending nearly 18 months in trade rumors, N’Keal Harry has a new home. The Patriots are sending the former first-round pick to the Bears, Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com report (on Twitter).
The Bears have added a few new wideouts this offseason, one in which they said goodbye to Allen Robinson after four years. They will take a shot with Harry, who is going into a contract year.
The Bears will send a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Pats, Rapoport tweets. Harry is due a $1.87MM base salary in 2022. The Patriots will save around $1.2MM by dealing him. This will provide a bit of breathing room for the Patriots, who entered Tuesday with the least amount of cap room — under $2MM.
Considering Harry’s status as the highest-drafted wideout in Bill Belichick‘s 23-offseason Patriots tenure, his New England career and this trade return represent a massive disappointment. The Pats had traded for DeVante Parker and traded up for wideout Tyquan Thornton in this year’s second round. Harry had been moved off the radar and, after a recent report that indicated the Pats could excuse the injury-prone receiver from training camp or drop him ahead of that point, the Bears moved in to see if a rebound of some sort can commence.
Acquired ahead of Tom Brady‘s final Patriots season, Harry missed most of that turbulent year for the Pats’ receiving corps. The Pats had Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown and Mohamed Sanu on their roster at points that season, but the year unfolded with scant Harry involvement. A preseason ankle injury limited Harry to seven games in 2019. He missed five last season, with shoulder and knee maladies sidelining him. A healthier 2020 (33 receptions, 309 yards, two touchdowns) did not stop Harry’s freefall, and the Patriots acquired Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne last year. That preceded a 12-catch Harry 2021 season and persistent trade/cut rumors.
While this wraps another Belichick-era draft miss at the receiver position, the Bears feature a less settled pass-catching corps. Behind Darnell Mooney, uncertainty resides ahead of Luke Getsy‘s first OC season.. Chicago signed Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis, David Moore and Tajae Sharpe this offseason and used a third-round pick on Velus Jones. At 25, Jones is several months older than Harry, who will turn 25 in December.
Beyond Mooney and Jones, the Bears are taking a number of fliers. They will get one of the NFL’s biggest receivers in this trade. Harry goes 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He ended his Arizona State career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and became the 32nd overall pick in 2019. Harry was that year’s second wide receiver selected, after only Marquise Brown. His going ahead of Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and Diontae Johnson both reflected poorly on the Patriots and reveals the receiver talent that can be had beyond Round 1. But the fourth-year pass catcher will have a stretch to impress a new Bears regime.
38 comments on “Bears To Acquire N’Keal Harry From Patriots”
Who is the best WR BB has drafted in his career? It’s amazing how he puts teams together but this is like his kryptonite
Edelman and Branch are the only 2 that really stick out. Slater is a useful special teamer, but not much of a receiver. Malcolm Mitchell was promising until knee injuries ruined him and Berrios has proven solid for the Jets. Unfortunately, all but Branch were drafted in the 4th round or later
Edelman was drafted as a QB
It was widely known (and admitted by Edelman himself) that he lacked the ability to play QB in the NFL and needed to transition to wideout
Here’s all the WRs he’s drafted:
Branch (2nd round), Bethel Johnson (2nd), Chad Jackson (2nd), Matt Slater (5th), Brandon Tate (3rd), Edelman (7th), Taylor Price (3rd), Jeremy Ebert (7th), Aaron Dobson (2nd), Josh Boyce (4th), Jeremy Gallon (7th), Malcom Mitchell (4th), Devin Lucien (7th), Berrios (6th), Harry (1st), Trey Nixon (7th), Tyquan Thornton (2nd).
Not a good track record, though Branch and Edelman were great picks.
Belichick doesn’t really like drafting receivers at all, really. It seems that he considers them mostly interchangeable, or at least impossible to evaluate just based on college tape. That’s just my theory.
It’s pretty obvious that he didn’t really want Harry, as is. Brady wanted a receiver, and Harry was the best prospect on the board. If Belichick didn’t feel that he had to please Brady (or maybe that Kraft felt that he had to please Brady, who knows), I doubt that Belichick would have spent a first on Harry or any other receiver.
Good riddance. The list of guys they took him over makes me physically ill…
Easy to look back and say that now, he had big years his last 2 years of college so not like it was a questionable pick at the time they made it.
There were definite concerns about his ability to separate at the next level. He wasn’t a surefire bust, but there were certainly question marks
Maybe so, but Harry looked like the rare receiver who could reliably make contested catches coming out of college. At the time, there were few receivers who were viewed as solid competition in that department. Thing is, that has never really been Brady’s game; the fifty-fifty ball is much more common in the Bucs’ offense due to both the influence of Bruce Arians and the presence of Mike Evans. Fewer quarterbacks are throwing those types of passes today, and Fields so far hasn’t been one of them.
Harry is a big, physical player who was not at all the prototypical New England receiver, even if he had managed to live up to his draft status. I don’t see him doing so in Chicago. There’s a slim chance he does so at all, but a better chance may have been with Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, or Aaron Rodgers. Those QBs have shown an ability to place fifty-fifty jump balls well. Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow have as well, as well as Jameis Winston. Russell Wilson and Stafford have in the past, though not as much today. I’m not saying that Harry would excel with any of these players, or that they even they need him at all, just giving examples of quarterbacks who have played in a manner fitting Harry’s type.
This is par for the course Georgie. Nobody else wanted him so you take him. And again it does make sense. Your other receivers are in jail. Thanks Georgie!
Nobody is in jail. A 7th round flier on a 1st round pick with one year left on his deal to prove it is buying low opportunity in front of anyone else in the league who would take that chance.
True, and maybe he steps up, but this is not what I was hoping Poles would do to “bolster” the WR group.
The Bears don’t have anybody to throw them the ball so what does it matter.
Low risk high reward for Bears, interested to see how he does.
Thought Dallas might do something like this after losing some WRs
One shatty QB to another…..
I wonder how this makes Josh Fields really feel.
I don’t know of any QBs (other than Rodgers) who would throw a tantrum if their team parted with a 7th round pick.
The former Oklahoma State Qb and Chicago White Sox? He probably doesnt care
who the hell is Josh Fields?
Now do Reagor
Huge swing and miss here. 🙂
Could’ve had Byron Murphy and DK Metcalf
Instead got Harry and Joejuan Williams
I dont see either team trading those players for a 7th round pick and a bit of salary relief but thats just me.
No, this is one of those hindsight comments that assumes that drafts happen with vision portal two years into the future.
Made many mental mistakes as well as physical. Maybe he can make it in Canada.
So does this mean he’ll get arrested in the near future?
I have by July 23rd in the pool. Here we’re betting on what happens first, A Bear gets arrested or LaRussa gets fired.
The Pats were going to make him a TE so this fits the Bears only bring in TEs narrative.
This is why Bill is playing chess when everybody else is playing checkers. He knew that if he mentioned the letters T and E together, the Bears would come running. This may be his best move yet!
(yes I’m joking… mostly)
Jim Murray of 98.5 had a funny line about the chess thing – “Belichick is playing chess while everyone is playing football.”
No one can argue against Belicek’s
Greatness but what an awful draft pick. I never understand when amateurs like myself see a pick and think it’s horrible and then it turns out to be just that
Surprised NE didn’t sucker the Bears into a conditional pick based on performance.
Pats win the trade just by being able to get anything in return for Harry
There’s plenty of time to be proven wrong, but when Poles said he was gonna bolster the WR group I didn’t expect us to roster like every WR4 in the league.
Harry isn’t a WR4. He’s more of a WR7, or perhaps he could be the Bears’ 11th TE.