The Patriots spent a first-round pick on receiver N’Keal Harry in 2019. Whether a failure or drafting or development or some of both, it’s looking like it’s over for Harry in New England.
His agent has asked for a trade, an obvious move if the Patriots are willing to do it and, frankly, a potential disaster if the Patriots have not yet decided that they don’t want him.
Regardless, the ball sits on the tee. Will another team kick it?
An unnamed source from a team with no currently obvious needs at the position predicts that the Patriots, if willing to trade Harry, could get a fifth-round pick for the first-round prospect — possibly with another pick flowing from New England to the new team as part of the usual balancing act reflected by so many other trades, like a 2023 seventh-rounder.
Before another team trades for Harry, that team needs to figure out whether Harry simply needs a change of scenery. He’s not producing, and he’s had injuries. The Patriots quite possibly have concluded that he just can’t perform well enough at the NFL level. If the exercise of due diligence uncovers any attitude issues, that could destroy his market.
There’s a financial component as well. Harry will earn $1.4 million in 2021 and $1.87 million in 2022. Of the remaining salaries, only $673,000 is guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap. The fact that the Patriots would avoid that obligation becomes a factor in trade talks. However, if he’s waived and unclaimed, chances are he’ll land with another team and make at least that much elsewhere.