There were high hopes for N’Keal Harry when he came out of the 2019 draft. But, first, he was barely healthy and had to deal with a quarterback that didn’t like working with developing receivers. Then he had to deal with a bubble passer on his way out of the league. And finally, he got with a quarterback that was accurate and willing to throw to him.
Disappointment Is The Feeling When N’Keal Harry Is Mentioned.
There didn’t appear to be chemistry, and now the New England Patriots are left with a dilemma, keep Harry and see if chemistry develops with Mac or get rid of him. Stay tuned to find out what value he brings and why he might still be around in 2022.
Did The Patriots Use Harry Right?
“No, there’s no question about that: He’s a player that can do some things with the ball in his hands. We know that. Very talented guy, works really hard. I’ve got to do better to get him the ball,” said Josh McDaniels during the 2021 season.https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/12/29/josh-mcdaniels-i-have-to-do-a-better-job-of-getting-jonnu-smith-the-ball/
Josh McDaniels admitted he needs to do a better job utilizing Jonnu Smith’s skill set. Smith was paid so much that in just one season has let people down almost as much as the Patriots former 2019 draft pick has. It is improbable but not impossible that McDaniels did not know how to use N’Keal Harry.
Throughout 2020 fans complained McDaniels was not using Cam Newton right. McDaniels is now the NFL’s problem. Maybe Patricia could use Harry. It could happen; not saying it will, but I’m not saying it won’t.
People Went From Overvaluing To Undervaluing Harry.
According to Henry McKenna of Patriots Wire, “And then there’s Harry, who I can’t imagine being on the roster when the season starts. He wants out. The Patriots have no use for him.”https://patriotswire.usatoday.com/lists/patriots-mac-jones-deep-ball-offseason-practices/
McKenna is not seeing the big picture; few covering the NFL are. Harry’s contract isn’t cheap. Buchmasser of Patspalpit spoke about that, and I’ll share a quote from him later. Any how Harry is a good blocker. In fact, over his career, he’s been a better blocker than at least two of the Patriots’ tight ends, if not three.
New England is not likely to convert Harry, but they use Harry as a move tight end. If N’Keal Harry makes the roster, that’s where his value is. I do not know if he will receive another chance on special teams, but Harry could even be used in the backfield as the H-back.
Which Side Of The Sword Will Hurt More?
Bernard Buchmasser of Patspalpit wrote, “Entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contact, Harry is counting $3.21 million against New England’s salary cap with $2.02 million in guarantees. The Patriots do have options to bring his cap impact down, although both involve them moving on from their former first-round investment. Trading Harry, for example, would create net cap savings of $1.17 million versus a $1.34 million dead money charge. Cutting him, meanwhile, would free up $493,111 with $2.02 million in dead cap.”https://www.patspulpit.com/2022/5/17/23074903/patriots-roster-analysis-nkeal-harrry-2022-nfl-season
Cutting N’keal would result in minimal savings, and the Patriots cannot afford the dead cap. So the only way Harry gets cut is if the Patriots need room for another person on the roster. Some players like Tre Nixon could push Harry away if they play well enough, but it’s still a wait-and-see.
And the player that bumps Harry off the roster doesn’t need to be a wideout. They have to be someone the Pats find too valuable to lose. But, of course, the one thing about the NFL is nothing is ever for certain, so we must wait and see.
Some Teams Might Want Harry.
He could play well in the preseason and find someone who wants him. The Arizona Cardinals have always been linked to Harry. People are throwing the Packers’ name out as a team that might be interested, but I cannot see it.
The only two other teams that might come calling are the Raiders for obvious reasons or the Ravens because they may need a big body that they can try at tight end who can block in the run game. Otherwise, he’s a waiting game but do not be surprised if Harry makes the roster because the Patriots have little power in a trade with everyone knowing they want him gone.
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