N’Keal Harry wants out of New England, and whether the circumstances that brought things to this point are his fault or the Patriots’ is up for debate.
One thing is for sure, though: He’s probably not going to be easy to trade.
There’s the obvious reason of him underperforming. In no way has Harry lived up to his 32nd overall draft slot from 2019, and entering training camp this season he was hardly a roster lock. His agent seemed to allude to that being because his client isn’t getting enough/the right opportunities. The Patriots’ counterargument, we’re guessing, would be that Harry hasn’t capitalized on the opportunities he has been given.
“The problem is this: If you trade for him, you have to take on his contract,” Florio said, via WEEI.com. “And even though he wasn’t a high first-round pick, he’s got a salary obligation if you take on that deal that is maybe more than a guy you could pick up off the street. I think that’s really the challenge, getting someone to take on his pay over the next two years.”
Harry has two years left on his deal, with a $2.75 million cap hit in 2021 and a $3.2 million hit in 2022.
Florio goes on to point out that in order for a team to trade for Harry, they will have had to have seen something that leads them to believe Harry will work with their team and that his struggles were, in fact, a Patriots problem. And at that ticket, a team has to be pretty confident they can make things work.
The most likely skill that would entice teams is Harry’s ability in college to win 50-50 balls and outmuscle defensive backs. He has shown that only in mere flashes in the NFL, so the jury is out on whether that’s a Patriots problem or a Harry problem.