When the New England Patriots signed N’Keal Harry with the No. 32 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, they were hoping to find a special wide receiver to support Tom Brady. Three years later, there’s a chance no one is on the list to start the 2021 NFL season.
Harry’s first season in New England started badly. He suffered an ankle injury at the training camp that knocked him out in late November. He finally made his debut and was dragged into his first career touchdown by Brady on November 24, but he proved to be one of his only bright spots in a tough first year.
Following Brady’s departure, New England hoped Harry would step up in his second season and become a target for Cam Newton. Instead, the former first-round pick finished behind Jakobi Meyers (81), Damiere Byrd (77) and James White (62) for goals in 14 games with 57.
- Statistics of N’Keal Harry (2019 -20): 45 catches, 414 receiving yards and four touchdowns, 55.6% catch percentage in 21 games
Part of the preview of ESPN’s 2021 NFL training camp, Patriots have beaten writer Mike Reiss has highlighted a key player in danger of not making the list of 53 people and he chose Harry.
“Calling a veteran third-year player may be questionable, but Harry has not only a crowded depth chart ahead of him in Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, but also competition for the No. 4 or 5 role from others. which seem to provide more value to special teams (like Gunner Olszewski as a point of return) or have a more prominent character (like Isaiah Zuber’s speed) .Harry’s contract could help to follow through, since the Patriots take a $ 2 million shot to let it go. That could finally buy the first round 2019 pick a little more time to see if things turn out. “
While avoiding a $ 2 million success is a decent incentive to keep Harry, he might not care too much about New England. The Patriots have $ 14 million in cap space entering the training camp and a Stephon Gilmore file extension it could create even more flexibility.