Patriots

NFL executive says Patriots could fetch late-round pick in N’Keal Harry trade

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports teams are "expected to have interest" in the former first-round receiver.

N'Keal Harry Patriots
N'Keal Harry catches a pass in front of New York Jets cornerback Bryce Hall last season. Charles Krupa/AP
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Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry certainly hasn’t provided his team with first-round value on the field since the team took him with the 32nd overall pick in 2019. As it stands, it appears the former first-round pick is far from a lock to make this year’s final roster out of training camp.

Now that the former Arizona State Sun Devil has formally requested a trade from New England, it seems certain the Patriots won’t get first-round value back for him in a deal either.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday that teams are “expected to have interest” in the big-bodied receiver despite his catching just 45 passes for 414 yards in two NFL seasons.

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But a league executive Fowler spoke to quoted Harry’s value at little more than a “conditional 6th-round pick.”

That’s not exactly an inspiring return for the Patriots, especially given the first-round pick they invested in him.

What’s more, the team would be on the hook for about $2 million in dead money if they did elect to cut Harry before training camp, making that scenario less than ideal.

Still, it can’t be denied that Harry is in line for a much smaller role behind Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, and Kendrick Bourne even if he does make the team this year. He also doesn’t provide the kind of special teams value Gunner Olszewski does (in addition to the latter’s ascending play during spring camp).

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The fact that such a high draft pick could be battling for a roster spot with the likes of Olszewski, Isaiah Zuber, and rookie Tre Nixon is not what anyone had in mind.

With that in mind, a change of scenario might benefit both sides — allowing Harry an opportunity in a different system and giving the Patriots a chance to cut bait and recoup at least something for their loss.

As for Harry himself, Fowler suggests the receiver will be hoping for an offense that will use his size and ability on contested catches both down the field and in the red zone. Meanwhile, a quick passing offense like the one the Patriots run is “probably not for him,” Fowler said.

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