The Patriots would be justified in feeling disappointed in N’Keal Harry.
The third-year receiver’s agent last week revealed he recently submitted a trade request on behalf of his client. So, Harry’s days in New England might be numbered.
Harry’s frustration seemingly stems from a lack of opportunities with the Patriots, who certainly have not maximized the potential within the 2019 first-round pick. And yet, despite New England’s offseason spending spree, there would be an opportunity in training camp for Harry to earn a spot on the receiver depth chart. Nothing is guaranteed with the Patriots, and it’s not like they’re fielding a 2007-like receiving corps.
Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard called Harry a “quitter” in a column published shortly after news of the trade request broke. He offered further insight during an ensuing episode of his Patriots podcast.
“This is a little insight that I got after I published my column,” Bedard said. “… I was asking around … I didn’t understand the timing of the N’Keal Harry trade request. Nothing has been going on for almost a month around the Patriots. No one’s in the building. I mean, unless you’re working out. Coaches are gone, everyone’s on vacation. Why now? To me, it reeks of — and I see this all the time, I’ve seen it throughout my career — a player goes home for summer break, he gets around his family, his friends, his agent. And if he’s not on his way to his $150 million contract, they’re looking for people to blame. They’re like, ‘It’s not your fault! You need a trade! You’re not getting this, you’re not getting that. It’s not your fault, you’re great.’ You see it all the time.
“And so, I was asking people in the building, ‘What’s the deal, any reason why the timing would be now?’ And, basically, I got a bunch of shrugs. But one thing I heard that was interesting from somebody there, was, their reaction was, ‘Another case of a young guy thinking he’s not the issue and displacing blame. Seen it a million times.'”
If Harry’s Patriots career truly is nearing an end, the Arizona State product will go down as one of the most significant busts in franchise history. In two seasons as a pro, Harry caught just 45 balls for 414 yards and four touchdowns.