During a training camp where the New England Patriots are holding their first quarterback competition since we can remember (last year doesn’t count!), the story of the first several practices has centered on a receiver whom many fans thought would be gone by now.
We’re talking about N’Keal Harry, who, unbeknownst to the organization, requested a trade through his agent on social media before the start of camp.
Though Harry could’ve handled the situation with more courtesy and professionalism, fans couldn’t help but sympathize with him for wanting a fresh start.
With the Patriots’ first preseason game just days away, Harry is still hanging around … and he’s making quite the impression on the coaching staff with his play.
Harry’s resurgence has resulted in fans and even some media members imploring the Patriots to give him another chance. However, we can’t help but wonder if the 2019 first-round pick’s newfound consistency could actually increase the likelihood that he’s traded.
Could N’Keal Harry’s revival actually increase his trade chances?
It honestly depends on whether Harry’s relationship with Bill Belichick is good or not.
You have to think Harry going behind the franchise’s back to request a trade didn’t go over well with his head coach and de facto general manager. Then again, Belichick said they had a “good conversation” and seems to be in the wideout’s corner at the moment. Why not keep him and utilize him as a weapon after the mishandling/struggles he endured the last two years?
On the flip side, however, Harry is “playing” (it’s only training camp, after all) the best football of his career. Given how the trade market works, teams could be lining up with offers for the 23-year-old receiver. If a potential suitor offers a second- or third-round draft pick, could the Patriots justify turning it down just to bank on the idea that Harry’s play at camp will translate into the regular season?
That’d be quite a roll of the dice, and we all know Belichick would rather be safe than sorry, especially with players who’ve burned him in the past. For context, over his first two seasons, Harry’s posted 45 receptions for 414 yards (19.7 per game) and just two touchdowns. Some receivers are capable of tallying those numbers within a five-week stretch!
Then again, Harry has been making spectacular plays look routine.
Harry has yet to walk back the trade request, so chances are he’d welcome a move to another team if the opportunity presented itself. It’s a tricky situation, and one that Belichick and Co. will have to analyze with great detail before they come to a decision.
Do they keep Harry around and hope he morphs into the high-end WR they thought he’d be coming out of Arizona State? Or do they fulfill his wish and unload him with his value maybe as high as it’ll ever be? We’ll know soon enough, but don’t go thinking Harry’s dominant camp means he’s a lock to be on the roster when the regular season kicks off.