Should Patriots Take Flier On Andy Isabella With Wideout Seeking Trade?

N'Keal Harry for Andy Isabella?


March 2

N’Keal Harry is the most notorious draft bust in the loaded 2019 wide receiver class. But he isn’t the only one.

Andy Isabella, drafted 30 slots behind Harry (second round, 62nd overall), has offered minimal production during his three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. Now, he wants out.

Isabella’s agent, Bradley Blank, told Patriots Wire’s Henry McKenna that Arizona had granted the 25-year-old wideout’s request to seek a trade this offseason. Blank said he has yet to contact any teams about a potential deal.

Despite the Cardinals employing more four-receiver sets than any other NFL team, Isabella was almost completely absent from their offense this season, buried on the depth chart behind DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green and rookie Rondale Moore. He played just 30 offensive snaps over eight appearances and was targeted once, catching one pass for 13 yards. He also hardly played in the kicking game, logging just 24 special teams snaps.

Isabella’s first two seasons were only marginally better. He caught nine passes for 189 yards and one touchdown as a rookie in 2019 and 21 catches for 224 yards and two scores in 2020. It’s clear he has no future in Arizona, and with that lackluster résumé, he should cost next to nothing for an interested team to acquire.

Would he be a worthwhile reclamation project for the New England Patriots, who lived to regret drafting Harry over the likes of A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel, D.K. Metcalf and Terry McLaurin? Perhaps.

Though he has not impressed thus far, the former UMass star is a talented athlete who boasts one truly elite trait: speed. A former state-champion sprinter in Ohio, Isabella ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the 2019 combine and garnered pre-draft comparisons to Tyreek Hill, Brandin Cooks and T.Y. Hilton. He caught 102 passes for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns in his final season with the Minutemen and trained for his draft by working closely with Randy Moss.

Obviously, the diminutive (5-foot-9, 188-pound) wideout has not lived up to that potential. But with a 2022 salary of just $1.13 million, the Patriots could opt to find out whether he’d have more success in their system, knowing he would not be guaranteed a 53-man roster spot.

A straight-up Isabella-for-Harry swap could even be in play, as the latter seems unlikely to ever become a reliable contributor in New England.

Harry’s career numbers (57-598-4 in 33 games) aren’t quite as poor as Isabella’s — and at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, he offers much more in the blocking department — but he’s averaged just 1.7 catches per game over his three seasons and was benched in favor of a practice squad player late in 2021, months after his agent publicly requested a trade.

The Cardinals would be a logical fit for the big-bodied 24-year-old, who starred at nearby Arizona State.

The Patriots currently have Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Harry, Kristian Wilkerson, Tre Nixon and Malcolm Perry under contract for next season. Meyers and Gunner Olszewski are impending restricted free agents.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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