Patriots: Possible N’Keal Harry trade value revealed
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots had no other choice but to renovate their wide receiving corps this offseason, and they did just that in the first week of free agency.
While there’s a discussion to be had about whether they should’ve targeted more proven commodities, the likes of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne will go a long way towards making life easier for Cam Newton, who re-signed with the team on a one-year deal.
Believe it or not, the Patriots could be forced to add to their WR room before long, as they’ve reportedly been shopping N’Keal Harry following a second consecutive disappointing season.
It remains to be seen what the 2019 first-round pick will end up going for, but that’s starting to become a little more clear as we inch closer to the draft.
According to John Keim of ESPN, Washington and at least three other teams are monitoring the situation, which is a plus for the Patriots.
What isn’t, however, is the fact that ESPN also noted that “it would be hard to imagine them settling for anything less than a fourth-rounder.”
Patriots fans aren’t going to like N’Keal Harry’s reported trade value.
Based on where was taken in the 2019 draft, the Patriots were always going to take a massive loss on Harry if they ended up trading him, and this report proves that. However, we’re not so sure anybody was thinking “fourth-round pick or worse” when those rumors first came to light.
Taking his upside and largely untapped potential into account, we just assumed teams would come to the table with at least a second-rounder, or, in the worst-case scenario, a third-round pick. Unfortunately for the Patriots, this report just reflects how much Harry has struggled across his first two seasons in the league.
During that span, Harry has appeared in 21 of a possible 32 games, playing a lackluster 38.5% of the offensive snaps. Given that New England’s receiving corps has been the worst in the league over the last two campaigns, his lack of playing time is a damning indictment against where he’s currently at in his development.
In 14 starts, the Arizona State product has recorded 45 catches for 414 yards and four touchdowns, to go with a lowly 5.1 yards per target and 55.6% catch rate. For the second WR taken in the 2019 draft, those numbers are simply unacceptable, especially for a team in the Patriots who don’t have the patience to watch young talents go through growing pains.
With that in mind, if the Patriots have the opportunity — regardless of whether he goes for a fourth-rounder — to unload him, how could they possibly justify not pulling the trigger?
That isn’t to say we’re writing Harry off as an NFL player. He’s still 23 years old and has a lot of physical tools working in his favor. At this point, however, he’s caused enough frustration that a change of scenery and a fresh start with a new organization would be best for both parties.