N'Keal Harry

Patriots Move WR N’Keal Harry To IR

The Patriots will begin their season without N’Keal Harry. They are placing the third-year wide receiver on IR, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

Harry, who reported to Patriots camp after requesting a trade this offseason, suffered a shoulder injury. Because the Patriots had Harry on their 53-man roster after cutdown day, he will be eligible to return by Week 4.

Bill Belichick said he expects Harry to contribute this season; the injury is not believed to be too serious. The 22nd-year Pats coach added that he did not discuss a trade with the once-disgruntled wideout’s agent. But New England will still begin its season without Harry, whose career has hit a crossroads of sorts after two unproductive slates.

The Pats have a new-look group of pass catchers that stand to minimize Harry’s role, having signed Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor to go with tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Former UDFA Jakobi Meyers is also expected to play a major role in the Pats’ now-Mac Jones-led offense.

Patriots WR N’Keal Harry Avoids Serious Injury

It sounds like N’Keal Harry avoided serious injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Patriots wideout didn’t suffer any structural damage to his shoulder. The third-year player will just need rest is considered week-to-week.

Harry exited the Patriots’ preseason game on Thursday night after landing hard on his shoulder while diving for a catch. Harry didn’t return and was seen wearing a sling following the contest. The receiver has dealt with a number of injuries during his brief career, so this is a positive development for the 23-year-old.

Of course, it’s still uncertain if the 2019 first-round pick will be on the Patriots roster come Week 1. The Arizona State product surprised many when he requested a trade earlier this offseason, but Harry still attended training camp and has reportedly held talks with Bill Belichick and co. regarding the request. Considering Harry’s lack of production through two NFL seasons, the Patriots probably haven’t traded him thanks to underwhelming offers. We’ve heard teams like Washington were interested in Harry, but suitors were likely offering fifth- or sixth-round picks. The Patriots may just prefer to keep Harry around instead of dumping him for a late-round selection.

Harry has disappointed since being selected with the No. 32 pick in the 2019 draft. Through two seasons, he’s hauled in 45 receptions for 414 yards and four scores. Harry had a chance to prove himself in 2020 with a depleted depth chart, but he’ll have a tougher time getting looks in 2021 following the additions of Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor (plus tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith).

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Latest On Patriots, N’Keal Harry

N’Keal Harry attended Patriots minicamp but has since made a trade request. The former first-round pick, however, remains under contract for two more years in New England.

The third-year wide receiver and the Patriots continue to hold talks about this matter, according to veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson, who adds Harry is expected to attend training camp (Twitter link). It would have been quite surprising if Harry were a no-show, given the $50K-per-day fines for holdouts.

New England has received interest on Harry this offseason, with Washington being a team that has inquired about the ex-Arizona State prospect’s status. Thus far, the Patriots have been linked to landing a fifth- or sixth-round pick for Harry — were they to unload him. A team acquiring Harry would be buying low. The Pats paid Harry’s $5.3MM signing bonus; an acquiring team would have only Harry’s base salaries — $1.41MM in 2021, $1.87MM in 2022 — on its books.

Harry has been in trade rumors for more than four months, even before the Pats signed Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. While Harry’s draft status is more indicative of a No. 1 wide receiver than what Agholor or Bourne have shown in their NFL careers, he has not come close to justifying it and sits behind UDFA Jakobi Meyers among Patriot wideouts. New tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry also surpassed Harry in the Pats’ aerial pecking order this offseason.

The Pats have a history of trading first-rounders while on their rookie deals during Bill Belichick‘s run. They unloaded Chandler Jones and running back Laurence Maroney after four seasons and dealt disappointing defensive lineman Dominique Easley after two. Harry’s profile certainly veers closer to Easley’s. If the Patriots cannot find a trade partner, they may be prepared to waive Harry. The Patriots have only cut one first-rounder over the course of his rookie contract (Brandon Meriweather in 2011).

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Latest On Stephon Gilmore, N’Keal Harry

Two former first-round picks have come up in Patriots trade rumors this offseason, with N’Keal Harry‘s request following rumblings related to walk-year cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Harry appears to have a better chance to be out of Foxborough in the near future.

The third-year wide receiver generated trade interest earlier this offseason but has some dead money in his contract. Still, if the Patriots do plan to unload him, a source informs Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio a fifth-round pick may be in play. Another evaluator is a bit less bullish on a potential return, viewing a sixth-rounder as the projected compensation for Harry, via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).

While these conclusions would be a value loss and add to the Bill Belichick-era Pats’ woeful record with highly drafted wideouts, the team has changed up its receiver room and may also be considering cutting Harry.

[RELATED: Stephon Gilmore Not Expecting Trade]

Although Harry is behind multiple free agents, with former UDFA wideouts also potentially having the edge on him for spots, Gilmore remains on track to be New England’s top cornerback in 2021. The All-Pro defender has expressed dissatisfaction with his salary, though his $7MM paragraph 5 figure is this low because of the Patriots moving money from 2021 to 2020 to appease their underpaid corner. But this process, Gilmore’s minicamp holdout notwithstanding, has not produced acrimony just yet.

The Pats, however, are not likely to give Gilmore a new contract ahead of the season, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes, adding that an incentive package similar to the ones the team gave Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in 2018 makes more sense as a compromise. Gilmore’s 2020 play did not match his 2019 dominance — in a season that ended early because of a quadriceps tear and one that involved a COVID-19 contraction — and he will turn 31 in September.

New England should not be expected to pay Gilmore top-market cornerback money, and the corner’s camp identifying Darius Slay‘s Eagles extension (three years, $50.1MM) may even be too much. Gilmore might not reach the $15-$16MM-per-year range, Volin adds. It will be interesting to see, then, where the 10th-year veteran takes his holdout. The new CBA forces teams to dock players $50K for each training camp absence, and they are no longer allowed to waive fines after a player reports.

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Latest On Patriots, WR N’Keal Harry

N’Keal Harry may have requested a trade, but the Patriots wideout could end up having a chance to choose his next team. As Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes on Twitter, we “can’t rule out the Patriots simply cutting” the former first-round pick.

[RELATED: Patriots WR N’Keal Harry Requests Trade]

New England still owes Harry a bit more than $2MM in guaranteed salary. However, as Volin observes, that number would be reduced based on how much money Harry received from his next team. It’s worth noting that the receiver is set to earn a fully guaranteed salary of $1.413MM in 2021, and his minimum salary would be set around $850K, so the Patriots would at most be on the hook for around $500K if they cut him.

For comparison’s sake, the Patriots would be left with cap charges of $1.341MM in both 2021 and 2022 if they found a trade suitor for Harry. In other words, it really only makes sense for the Patriots to trade the 23-year-old if they receive an asset that they value more than the ~$800K ($1.34MM-$500K) in cap relief.

Further, releasing Harry might make more sense from a practical standpoint. Teams won’t be looking to give away anything significant for the potential bust, and as Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston writes, the Patriots have been trying to trade Harry throughout the offseason. If the Patriots had already received a logical offer for the wideout, he’d probably be gone, and it’s unlikely that today’s development will change the market all that much. In fact, Curran opines that the trade request is simply Harry’s attempt to “save face” before he’s inevitably dumped.

Through his agent, Harry requested a trade from the Patriots today. The Arizona State product has disappointed since being selected with the No. 32 pick in the 2o19 draft. Through two seasons, Harry has hauled in 45 receptions on 414 yards and four scores. Harry had a chance to prove himself in 2020 with a depleted depth chart, but he’ll have a tougher time getting looks in 2021 following the additions of Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor (plus tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots WR N’Keal Harry Requests Trade

It’s been a quiet week, but drama is now brewing in New England. Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry has requested a trade, his agent Jamal Tooson announced Tuesday, via Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (on Twitter).

Tooson says in his statement that “for the past several months,” he’s 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.” “Following numerous conversations” with the team, Tooson apparently came to the conclusion that it would be best for N’Keal to get a fresh start “before the start of training camp.” As such, he is “formally requesting a trade on behalf” of his client.

Harry was taken with the last pick of the first-round in 2019, and has been a disappointment as a pro. The Arizona State product starred in college but only has 45 catches in 21 career games with the Pats. It’ll be very interesting to see what the trade market looks like for him, if there is one at all.

As a first-round pick, the next two years of Harry’s salaries are fully guaranteed. He’s still only 23, but the fact that he has struggled to get looks with the Patriots’ less than impressive receiving group isn’t a good sign.

As a rookie he was limited to seven games by an ankle issue, but he played a bigger role in 2020. He finished the season with 33/309/2 in 14 games and nine starts, but currently finds himself behind guys like Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Nelson Agholor on the depth chart.

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AFC Rumors: Chiefs, Sutton, Harry, Jaguars

Following Super Bowl LV’s blocking debacle, the Chiefs moved aggressively to bolster their offensive line. In addition to trading for Orlando Brown Jr. to play left tackle, Kansas City signed Joe Thuney to play left guard, added Kyle Long out of retirement and drafted Trey Smith in the sixth round. Longtime Chiefs right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is also back after his opt-out season, and the team placed an original-round RFA tender on Andrew Wylie and re-signed veteran Mike Remmers.

Though Wylie finished the season as an overmatched right tackle against Shaquil Barrett, he has started 35 games for the Chiefs over the past three years. But the Chiefs’ new guard glut now has the former UDFA on the roster bubble, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. Wylie’s best hope is a backup gig, with Teicher adding that it is Smith who is battling Duvernay-Tardif for the Chiefs’ starting right guard job. A blood clot issue hampered Smith at Tennessee, but he bounced back to earn first-team All-SEC acclaim at guard in 2019 and ’20. Smith’s past medical issue damaged his draft stock, but the Chiefs appear to be considering starting two rookies — Smith and second-round center Creed Humphrey — this season.

Here is the latest from around the AFC:

Trade Candidates: Patriots RB Sony Michel, WR N’Keal Harry

While Bill Belichick has earned praise for his successful late-round picks, many of his championship rosters have been predicated on early-round draft selections. However, a pair of recent first-round picks have disappointed during their tenures in New England, and the young duo could find themselves playing elsewhere come the start of the 2021 season.

Erik Scalavino of the Patriots website recently discussed the trade availability of edge rusher Chase Winovich (something we looked at yesterday), and the writer believes that running back Sony Michel and wideout N’Keal Harry could also be on the trade block:

“[Winovich] and a handful of other Patriots (Sony Michel, N’Keal Harry?) could be potential trade prospects come August or early September. As always, what their value would be is impossible to predict, but summertime trades often involve player-for-player swaps between teams needed to strengthen certain positions. Something to keep in mind.”

Let’s start with New England’s 2018 first-rounder (No. 31 overall). Michel actually looked like he was well worth his draft stock during his rookie year. He collected 981 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 13 regular season games, and he added another six scores during the Patriots’ run to a championship. Michel’s counting stats went up a bit in 2019 thanks to him appearing in three more games, but his yards per carry dropped from 4.5 (2018) to 3.7 (2019). Michel spent much of the 2020 campaign on the IR and COVID list, finishing with a career-low 563 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.

Still, Michel has showed plenty of promise (especially when it matters most), and he’s still only 26 years old. Why would the Patriots shop the young running back? For starters, the former first-rounder is an impending free agent after the Patriots declined to pick up his fifth-year contract. Further, the Patriots haven’t shown any trust in the running back’s ability to catch the ball (26 receptions in 38 games), and it’s clear Michel will never be a three-down back. Considering those two factors, it seems unlikely that Michel will be playing in New England beyond 2021. Finally, New England has plenty of depth at the position; 2019 third-rounder Damien Harris is projected to be the starter, James White will be back in his pass-catching role, and the team also added Rhamondre Stevenson in the fourth round of this year’s draft.

Harry’s spot on the trade block makes a lot more sense. Since being selected with the 32nd pick in the 2019 draft, the Arizona State product has struggled to show much during his limited opportunities. Harry couldn’t find a groove with Tom Brady during his rookie season, finishing with only 105 receiving yards. With much less receiving depth in 2020, Harry only saw a slight uptick in numbers, finishing with 309 yards from scrimmage. The Patriots have done some work improving their pass-catching corps this offseason, including the additions of veterans Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. This will only slide Harry further down the depth chart.

We haven’t done a whole lot to inspire confidence in either of these young players…so why would rival squads be interested? Well, both players are still on their rookie contracts, making them relatively inexpensive, (potentially) high-upside reclamation projects. Further, while the Patriots have a bit of a roster crunch at each position, there’s no real urgency nor financial advantage to cut the players. If a rival team is interested in Michel and/or Harry, they’ll likely have to acquire the player(s) via trade. New England obviously won’t come close to recouping their first-round investment, but the team could net a late-round pick.

One thing is certain: 2021 will surely be a make-or-break year for both Michel and Harry. The big question is if that crucial season will take place in New England or elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WFT Interested In Patriots WR N’Keal Harry

The Washington Football Team is keeping an eye on N’Keal Harry, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. Harry has drawn trade interest in recent days and it has been widely speculated that the Patriots could move him. 

The Pats made Harry a first-round pick in 2019, but he hasn’t lived up to expectations. In total, the Arizona State product has just 414 receiving yards and four touchdowns across 21 games. He’s had lots of setbacks, too, including an injury-riddled rookie year and the offense’s overall woes in 2020.

Despite his inconsistent performance, Keim hears that at least three other teams are in the mix. As he notes, WFT GM Martin Mayhew was with the 49ers in 2019 and they were hoping to land Harry before the Patriots scooped him up in Round 1. In Washington, Harry could fit alongside Terry McLaurin and newcomer Curtis Samuel. Meanwhile, after adding Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, the Patriots can afford to part ways with the 6’4″ pass-catcher.

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N’Keal Harry Drawing Trade Interest

Several wide receivers from the 2019 draft class have become standouts. Despite being a first-round pick, N’Keal Harry is not among them. But the Patriots wideout has shown flashes in his abbreviated tenure. His inconsistent production, however, appears to have teams wondering if the Patriots have seen enough.

Teams are calling the Pats about Harry, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (video link). Two years remain on Harry’s rookie contract, with a fifth-year option decision not due until 2022. However, Harry is a bit off the option radar at this point.

New England selected Harry with the last pick in the 2019 first round. The 6-foot-4 Arizona State product has totaled only 414 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 21 games. But he has not exactly been thrust into ideal circumstances.

Harry missed the first half of his rookie season due to injury and did not contribute much in Tom Brady‘s final months with the franchise. The COVID-19 pandemic keeping players away from team facilities prevented Harry from working with Cam Newton, who did not sign until late June, during the 2020 offseason. Newton’s subsequent struggles limited New England’s passing game, with Harry undoubtedly contributing a bit to the veteran passer’s woes.

Were they to deal Harry this offseason, the Patriots would be selling quite low. Neither of his final two rookie-contract cap numbers surpass $3.5MM. Teams also will have an abundance of receivers to choose from in free agency, and this draft is expected to feature another strong wideout crop. The Pats will surely add to their present group, and it will be interesting to see where Harry stands when they are done doing so.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.