Patriots Officially Decline Option Disappointing WR


    N’Keal Harry

    Throughout his career, N’Keal Harry has been criticized for his inability to create separation from opposing defenders. It appears the e New England Patriots are trying to separate from the disappointing young receiver.

    The Patriots officially moved one step closer to cutting ties with Harry.

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    Per Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov, Harry was on a list of 11 players drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft whose teams declined their fifth-year option heading into the 2022 season.

    Does this mean Harry definitely won’t be with the Patriots in 2022? No, but he’s currently slated to become an unrestricted free agency following the upcoming season, which would make it much easier for the Patriots to release or trade him, much like they did Sony Michel just before the start of the 2021 campaign

    N’Keal Harry Hasn’t Lived Up to His Potential

    To say Harry has been a disappointment since being selected 32nd overall in the 2019 NFL Draft is an understatement. Harry has just failed to live up to the projections many had for him coming out of Arizona State as a highly touted downfield threat, he’s also been dwarfed by the production of others drafted behind him in his class–including his teammate and undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers.

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    When you look at what guys like new Philadelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, and D.K. Metcalf has accomplished in the NFL, which makes Harry’s lack of production an easy mark for critics.

    Among eligible players drafted in 2019, Harry ranks 22nd in receptions. Every player ranked above him in that category was drafted after Harry and that includes two fifth-rounders (Hunter Renfrow and Darius Slayton) and sixth-round RB (Ty Johnson) and a seventh-round back (Myles Gaskin).

    Based on that production, the Patriots would seemingly be wise to try to move on from Harry through a trade if they can get someone to offer even a meager asset.

    Harry’s Agent Says There Have Been Some Positive Signs in Trade Talks

    Ahead of the 2021 season, Harry and his agent Jamal Tooson requested a trade, but the Patriots didn’t move him. Instead, Harry spent another mostly non-productive season on New England’s depth charts.

    Still, per Toolson, there is some reason for optimism. Tooson says he has had “positive dialogue” with the Patriots about the team pursuing a trade to get his client a fresh start elsewhere.

    There are teams in the NFL who will almost certainly be willing to give Harry a second chance. However, it remains to be seen if a team will be willing to part ways with even a late-round pick for a player who hasn’t proven he can make an impact in the NFL.

    It seems more likely Harry is released and has a chance to sign with a team that will give him a chance to make an impact. Don’t rule out Harry possibly landing with the Chicago Bears. Justin Fields badly needs weapons in the passing game and Harry could be a low-risk, high-reward signing for a team at the genesis of a rebuild.

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