Patriots Trade Rumors: N'Keal Harry Move Being Gauged by Interested Teams

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry (15) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Opposing teams have contacted the New England Patriots about a possible trade for wide receiver N'Keal Harry, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From NFL Now on @nflnetwork on #Patriots WR N'Keal Harry being a potential trade target for teams as we work through free agency and the Draft. https://t.co/BziqXFj83y

A first-round pick in 2019, Harry has caught 45 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns in 21 games.

By trading him now, there's almost no way the Patriots would recoup the first-rounder they used on Harry. Because of that, allowing him to have another season in New England could work to the team's benefit.

The 23-year-old battled ankle and hip injuries as a rookie, which stunted his development. In 2020, the offense wasn't the same after Cam Newton returned from a midseason COVID-19-related absence, with Newton admitting his performance suffered in the aftermath of his diagnosis.

Perhaps Harry's struggles speak to wider problems for the Patriots since they have been consistently unable to land a young, explosive pass-catcher to pair with Julian Edelman.

Jason B. Hirschhorn @by_JBH

The Patriots haven't drafted a wideout who produced a career AV (@pfref metric) of more than six since 2009: Brandon Tate (16) and Julian Edelman (60). Since that draft, they've spent nine picks on wideouts including three in the top 100. N'Keal Harry was the latest. https://t.co/mIqtNJ6MMP

Theoretically, Harry should be that player. He's 6'4", averaged 13.6 yards per reception at Arizona State and ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Those traits are presumably why there's outside interest in his services.

Harry would probably benefit from a move given the questions at quarterback for the Patriots. However, Bill Belichick may not be ready to give up on him.