N’Keal Harry wants out of New England.
Jamal Tooson, the agent for the wide receiver the Patriots drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, has formally requested a trade on behalf of his client, who wants a “fresh start” with a new team.
“For the past several months, I have been working in cooperation with the Patriots behind the scenes to put a plan in place to allow N’Keal to thrive in New England,” Tooson wrote in a statement to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. “Through two seasons, he has 86 targets, which obviously hasn’t met the expectations the Patriots and N’Keal had when they drafted a dominant downfield threat who was virtually unstoppable at the point of attack in college.
“Following numerous conversations with the Patriots, I believe it’s time for a fresh start and best for both parties if N’Keal moves on before the start of training camp. That is why I have informed the Patriots today that I am formally requesting a trade on behalf of my client.”
Harry, 23, is in danger of not making the Patriots’ 53-man roster, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, who noted the team’s wide-receiver depth in Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne.
Sports Illustrated reported in April that Bill Belichick ignored Patriots scouts who were high on receivers Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown, who went to the 49ers at No. 36 and Titans at No. 51, respectively, in the second round of the 2019 draft. He instead used the No. 32 overall selection of Harry, who has 45 catches for 414 yards and four touchdowns in two seasons.
Brown was a Pro Bowler in 2020 and began his career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Samuel had 802 yards as a rookie before being limited to seven games last season.
“N’Keal understands a key ingredient to production is opportunity. He will continue to work hard to develop and refine his craft after missing a large portion of his rookie year to injury,” Tooson wrote. “His draft-day expectations for his NFL career have not changed. We are confident success is just around the corner for him and will aggressively pursue it.”
If the Patriots grant Harry a trade, the team will take $2 million hit in cap space, following New England’s free agency spending spree earlier this year.