N’Keal Harry’s time with the New England Patriots, though brief, is over. The former first-round pick and wide receiver is heading to the Chicago Bears as part of a trade, reported by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday.
According to the report, the Patriots are trading Harry to the Bears in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The move is being termed as a “fresh start” for the receiver out of Arizona State, who struggled to catch his footing in New England.
Harry played in 33 career games with New England during his first three seasons. He hauled in 57 receptions for 598 yards and four touchdowns. His best year came in 2020, totaling 309 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, he didn’t catch a pass in the end zone.
Tuesday’s trade is being praised as a promising move for Chicago, which needs help at the receiver position, especially with the departure of Allen Robinson. Harry provides the Bears with more options in the passing game.
N’Keal Harry Can Have a Big Role With Chicago
N’Keal Harry was a first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft for a reason. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2017 and 2018 at Arizona State and totaled more than 20 touchdown grabs. The potential is there.
After the trade from New England to Chicago, Harry gets the opportunity to flash his talent with a restructured receiving corps. He joins Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and (very confident) rookie Velus Jones Jr.
It’s not the splashiest receiver group in the NFL, but it does provide Harry the opportunity to start over. Sometimes, that’s all a player needs to catch his big break in the league.
A Confident Rookie In Chicago’s Wide Receiver Room
If N’Keal Harry wants to fit in with his new teammates, he’s going to have to bring the confidence. In particular, it’s 25-year-old rookie Velus Jones Jr. who believes he can make a big impression in his first season.
Some criticized the former USC and Tennessee receiver because of his age. He doesn’t listen to any of the negativity, though.
“People talk about it, but it don’t matter,” Jones said on NFL Network‘s The Sick Podcast. “I’m a baller at the end of the day. I know what I can do. Me being 25 years [old] is not going to stop me from running past people to score touchdowns and stuff like that. I’m going to be fast for a long time, strong for a long time and making plays for a long time. So, it’s really irrelevant.”
This isn’t just a fresh start for Harry, it’s a fresh start for the Bears receiving corps. It’s exactly what both sides need heading into the 2022 season.