NFL insider projects N’Keal Harry trade to the Packers

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N’Keal Harry has been and is available, and one NFL insider projects him to a team who could use a receiver.

With the New England Patriots signing Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne this offseason, N’Keal Harry was put on notice. A report teams were calling about him was followed this past week by a formal request to be traded from Harry’s agent.

Harry is the latest in a line of missed wide receiver draft picks by the Patriots. In two seasons since being drafted 32nd overall in 2019 out of Arizona State, he has totaled 45 catches for 414 yards and four touchdowns in 21 games. That’s 9.2 yards per catch, with a career catch rate of 55.6 percent (two career drops).

Harry, at 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, was able to dominate in college as a contested catch guy. But in the NFL you have to be able to separate, with speed and/or precise route running. Injuries have played a role in his struggles, but the opportunity to be a difference maker in New England was in front of him last season and Harry failed (33 catches in 14 games).

Where could N’Keal Harry land?

The Patriots could just cut Harry, and eat $3.4 million in dead money this year. But they’d surely like to (and can) get something for him in a trade. A bag of footballs and a sixth or seventh-round pick? A trade at least leaves behind some saved cap space for New England.

In looking at three potential trade fits for Harry, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks has the Green Bay Packers atop his list.

The Packers have been searching for a consistent WR2 to place opposite Davante Adams for years. Although Harry has struggled in New England as a part-time starter, he possesses the size and running skills to shine in an offense that features some catch-and-run elements. Aaron Rodgers’ status remains in question, but if he returns as the QB1, the MVP might be able to sprinkle some magic dust on Harry to help him re-discover his game as a rugged playmaker on the perimeter.

If the season started today, the under-appreciated Allen Lazard would be the Packers’ No. 2 wide receiver. Rookie wide receiver Amari Rodgers is lined up for a prominent immediate role. A lack of investment at the position is definitely part of the root of Aaron Rodgers’ ire. Trading for Harry wouldn’t change that, but he would be another option and a worthy flier to take.

Harry needs a change of scenery, ideally with a capable quarterback who could unlock him. Green Bay is as good a place as any, assuming Rodgers shows up of course.

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