HOUSTON -- New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry could be on the move before Week 1 of the 2021 season. Should the Houston Texans be interested in adding the former top pick?
As reported by his agent, Jamal Tooson, Harry is requesting a trade from the organization after being the team's first-round pick in 2019. The Arizona State product was expected to be a future No. 1 receiver, but never has taken the steps.
In two years, he's recorded a combined 45 catches for 414 yards and four touchdowns. With the Pats' additions of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, Harry is expected to be working with the second-team offense.
"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," Toon said in statement. "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."
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Harry, 23, still would have three years left on his rookie deal, one of which is an option that won't need to be picked up until spring of 2023. Texans general manager Nick Caserio played a role in the selection of the former Sun Devil while working as New England's Director of player personnel.
In Houston, the expectations would be lower than in New England. The Texans already has a No. 1 weapon in Brandin Cooks, who is coming off his fifth 1,000-yard season. The Texans also drafted Nico Collins from Michigan in the third round to provide size on the perimeter.
Connections are there between Houston and New England, too. Houston hired Bill O'Brien, the former Patriots offensive coordinator in 2014 as the new head coach. They also hired Jack Easterby, who served as a character coach from 2013-18.
This offseason, New England traded veteran tackle Marcus Cannon to Houston in exchange for swapping Day 3 picks. Former Patriot Rex Burkhead also signed a one-year deal this offseason.
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Is this a match made in heaven for both sides?
It depends on the price.
Harry hasn't shown in two years he can remain healthy or consistent when on the field. He missed nine games in 2019 and two last season. Even with a full year under his belt, he finished fifth in receiving yards behind Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd, James White and Julian Edelman.
Depending on what Belichick would be asking for, Houston should at least listen to offers. Keep in mind that the team does not own a 2022 fourth-round pick due to the Collins trade up with Carolina.
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A 2022 sixth-round pick? Maybe. Perhaps throw in another struggling receiver like Keke Coutee? By all means it works.
Harry is a versatile weapon, taking snaps last season on the outside and in the slot. Cooks, who primarily saw snaps on the outside, could also play the slot as well.
Best used on short routes such as slants, bubbles and outs, Harry would be the short-yardage target with the ability to win after the catch. Collins would hopefully be the possessional receiver and Cooks could be more of a downfield threat.
If the asking price is right, Houston should inquire of adding more to the "Patriots South" roster. If too high, best leave it be for an unproven talent in a season that already is under enough stress.
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