New England Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry wants to be traded, which means the Packers might want to pick up the phone.
Offseason drama isn’t an exclusive product of Green Bay.
As training camps prepare to open, rumors about free agent signings and big-name trades will shift to which players will and won’t make the 53-man roster. It’s a time of year where roster bubbles take center stage, but the players populating them aren’t always fringe starters and special teamers.
The season of veteran releases and teams cutting bait on draft busts is upon us, and the New England Patriots appear to be the first team approaching the crossroads.
According to Mike Garafolo, the Patriots were informed that wide receiver N’Keal Harry wants a trade and no longer wishes to continue his NFL career in New England.
Harry hasn’t exactly been the first-round stud the Patriots thought he might be when they drafted him back in 2018. Harry’s trade request is rather transparently desperate once the context of him possibly not making the 53-man roster is established.
Per ESPN’s Mike Reiss:
Calling a third-year player a veteran might be questionable, but Harry not only has 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 who seem to provide more value on special teams (such as Gunner Olszewski as a punt returner) or have a standout trait (such as Isaiah Zuber’s speed). Harry’s contract might help him stick around, as the Patriots would take a $2 million cap hit for letting him go. That could ultimately buy the 2019 first-round pick a bit more time to see if things turn around.”
Should Packers trade for N’Keal Harry to keep Aaron Rodgers happy?
The true offseason drama has been in Green Bay, where Aaron Rodgers also requested a trade and is refusing to make himself a part of the Packers 53-man roster. The request was a culmination of a decade’s worth of frustrations that finally boiled over, but the reduction most have applied to the situation is that Rodgers didn’t get the offensive assistance he desired.
Green Bay passing on Justin Jefferson and other top young receivers to trade up and draft a quarterback to replace Aaron Rodgers was seen as a final straw. The Packers sitting on their hands and not bringing in an affordable free agent receiver like Will Fuller, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or A.J. Green only furthered frustrations.
Now that Harry is available the Packers will undoubtedly be linked to him. Should they make a move to add him to make Aaron Rodgers happy?
Green Bay trading for Harry would be the first time they invested a first-round receiver in their offense, but he’s a shell of what he was expected to be.
If Harry is struggling to make the roster in New England, that pretty much tells you all you need to know. In his rookie season, he failed to establish a connection with Tom Brady — something another rookie, Tyler Johnson, was able to do in Tampa Bay. Adding Cam Newton didn’t help much, and now it appears the Patriots have seen all they need to.
The Packers adding Harry, if he’s extremely cheap, seems like a decent flier to take. Whether it appeases Rodgers or not should be beyond the point; until Rodgers commits to the Packers, this is Jordan Love’s team. So the question is whether or not adding Harry makes Love a better quarterback?
An additional question is where would Harry fit in the offense?
Davante Adams is about to get a massive new extension as the WR1, and behind him sits the very capable Marquez Valdez-Scantling. Allen Lazard took strides last season, and Equanimeous St. Brown has shown flashes that he could develop under less stressful leadership than Rodgers.
Would Harry play WR4, or be willing to battle for what might not be a higher role than WR3?
The allure of adding Harry to both appease Rodgers and add a guy who could turn into a first-round talent, is appealing. Green Bay has bigger fish to fry, and adding Harry feels like it would create more problems than it would solve on almost every level.