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Patriots trade N'Keal Harry to Bears for future seventh-round pick

CBS Boston 8/11/2022 Staff

FOXBORO -- The Patriots are moving on from N'Keal Harry. New England has reportedly traded away one of Bill Belichick's biggest draft busts.

A Harry trade or release has been anticipated for over a year now, but New England finally moved on from the disappointing receiver on Tuesday. The Patriots reportedly dealt Harry, whom they drafted with a first-round pick in 2019, to the Chicago Bears, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. 

The return? It's not much. New England is reportedly getting just a 2024 seventh-round pick in return for Harry. Ouch.

At least the cap-strapped Patriots did pick up a little cap space in the move, as noted by ESPN's Mike Reiss.

Harry never lived up to the first-round hype after the Patriots drafted him out of Arizona State with the 32nd overall pick in 2019. He was selected over the likes Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, and Terry McLaurin, each of whom have gone on to become a No. 1 receiver for their respective teams. (Or been traded for a much bigger trade package.) Harry, meanwhile, struggled to see the field for the Patriots.

And when he did see the field, Harry struggled to produce over his three seasons in New England. His best season came in 2020 when he had 33 receptions for 309 yards. He finishes his Patriots career with just 57 catches for 598 yards and four touchdowns over 33 games.

Harry has been slowly bumped down the depth chart over the last three years, and with veteran DeVante Parker joining Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers -- and with the Patriots drafting Tyquan Thornton in the second round -- there was no room for the 24-year-old on the New England roster anymore. 

As the first receiver ever drafted by Belichick in the first round, Harry will go down as one of the biggest busts of Belichick's career, if not the biggest. At least the team has moved on, and can move forward with a pretty solid group of receivers in 2022.

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