As the 2022 NFL Draft closes in, the New England Patriots are exploring their options to move on from 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry. After falling out of favor with Bill Belichick and his coaching staff, Harry and the Patriots are now looking for a conclusion that works for both sides.
Harry, a 6-foot-4 receiver drafted out of Arizona State, struggled out of the gate. He suffered an ankle injury in training camp and didn’t come off injured reserve until November. He played in just seven games as a rookie, totaling 105 yards with a 50% catch rate.
Things didn’t get any better in his final two seasons in New England. Soon after the Patriots acquired DeVante Parker this offseason, Harry became expendable. While there’s no timetable for a deal, it’s clear the Patriots are making an effort to find a resolution.
N’Keal Harry’s agent told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network that the wide receiver is training on his own for the 2022 season, ready for a new opportunity. There is also ‘positive dialogue’ with the Patriots about exploring a trade that works for everyone.
The return for Harry will be minimal. Just a few years after the Patriots selected him with the 32nd pick, any NFL teams interested in harry likely won’t offer a draft pick in 2022 that’s within the top-150 selections. If New England is committed to moving him, there are a few landing spots that stand out.
N’Keal Harry trade destinations
- Atlanta Falcons: A depth chart with KhaDarel Hodge, Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate and Olamide Zaccheaus could use all the help it can get. While the Falcons likely wouldn’t trade their fifth-round pick (151st overall) for Harry, they could offer a sixth-round pick (190th or 213th overall) to New England. It’s very possible Harry simply isn’t a starting-caliber NFL receiver. As of now, though, the Falcons don’t have that anyways. This would be a low-cost move with some upside.
- Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals and New England Patriots do have a history of trades. Arizona also needs to add some receiving depth behind DeAndre Hopkins following an offseason that saw Christian Kirk depart in free agency. While Harry would be nothing more than a WR4 for the Cardinals, this is a buy-low opportunity for a team that loves to get a lot of wide receivers involved and often uses four-receiver sets.
- Chicago Bears: It’s been a bad offseason for quarterback Justin Fields. Chicago’s new front office did very little to help the face of the franchise entering his second NFL season. While talent will be added through the NFL Draft, it would also be wise to attempt some reclamation projects. Harry would be a serviceable piece in the Bears’ offense, at least providing Fields with another potential pass-catching threat if everything goes right. At the very least, rolling the dice on Harry might offer higher upside than drafting a wide receiver in Round 7.
Related: New England Patriots mock draft 2022