Latest On Patriots, N’Keal Harry

After an offseason in which the Patriots signed Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, the team made more changes in 2022 by trading for DeVante Parker and drafting Tyquan Thornton in the second round. This quartet and Jakobi Meyers, whom the team kept via second-round RFA tender, are in line to be Mac Jones‘ top receivers this season.

This means more uncertainty for N’Keal Harry, whose days with the Pats appear numbered. Last month, a report emerged the Patriots were considering moving the underwhelming ex-first-rounder to tight end. Now, the team might finally be considering cutting its losses.

The team waiving Harry of training camp should be viewed as in play, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, given the offset language included in the fourth-year pass catcher’s rookie deal. The Pats have dangled Harry in trades for multiple years. As several receiver standouts chosen after Harry in 2019 have thrived, some en route to big 2022 paydays and others on clear courses for lucrative deals down the road, the big-bodied Pats target has not found his footing.

New England would likely accept a late-round pick-swap trade, one that would send Harry and a Day 3 choice to another team for a Day 3 selection, to save $1.2MM against its 2022 cap, Volin adds. The Pats hold a league-low $1.9MM in cap space. The prospect of the Patriots excusing Harry from training camp while working on a trade, in order to keep the Arizona State product healthy, could also be considered. Harry missed extensive time due to injury in 2019 and ’21, hitting IR in each season.

Harry caught 12 passes for 184 yards last season. He is due a $1.87MM base salary in 2022. Although a combination of receiver-needy teams and Harry’s draft pedigree likely leads to another shot elsewhere, Harry trade rumors have churned since March 2021. However this chapter ends for the 225-pound wideout, the value of Bill Belichick‘s highest-drafted receiver as Patriots HC/de facto GM has tanked over the past three years.

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