Sunday 7: N’Keal Harry could still have role with Patriots


1. N’Keal Harry requesting a trade this week was obviously not a good look for the third-year receiver. In fact, one could make the argument that he’s giving up instead of pushing even harder to earn a job. The Patriots’ wide receiver position is perhaps the most wide open on the roster going into training camp and Harry could have looked at it as he’d come back energized and ready to prove lot of people wrong. But, instead he’s asked for a trade and seemingly has one foot out the door. With that being said, there’s still a role for Harry with the team and the Patriots could hold onto him. While he’s not a No. 1 or 2 receiver right now, with a solid summer he’s certainly capable of making the team as a No. 3-5 wideout. Sure, it’s not what he or the team expected when he was drafted in the first round two years ago, but he can still contribute to the 2021 team. He does have some skills that can be used, especially in the red zone. And with the additions of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, Harry could potentially get some favorable matchups down by the goal-line. Even though it seems like Harry’s days in New England may be numbered, it actually may make sense for the team to hold on to him, especially considering what they would get in return (not much at all) and what his salary is (not much at all).

2. Things might be different if the Patriots could actually get something in return for Harry, but who would actually want to trade for him right now? He was reportedly available around the draft and nothing happened. Could Nick Caserio and the Texans make a move? Probably not. What about Arizona, who reportedly was interested in him during the 2019 NFL Draft? Maybe, but even it can see things haven’t worked out for Harry. Best-case scenario for the Patriots is a straight up swap of Harry and wide receiver Andy Isabella, who has been a disappointment for the Cardinals, but that doesn’t seem likely.

3. Stephon Gilmore spoke for the first time on his contract situation on Friday with Josina Anderson. The cornerback said he doesn’t expect to be traded and indicated he just wants to be paid like he thinks he should. It’s unclear exactly what he’s looking for, but based on his words things don’t appear to be overly contentious between he and the team and it seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult to work something out ahead of training camp. The more likely route is a raise for 2021 instead of an extension.

4. Some believe Gilmore doesn’t have any leverage with the Patriots, but that is not true. The Patriots expect to be a contending team in 2021, but without Gilmore as their No. 1 corner that may not be true. Without Gilmore, the Patriots go down to an average team likely to battle it out for a playoff spot. The Patriots need Gilmore if they expect to be a playoff team in 2021.

5. The Patriots' roster is pretty much set going into training camp, but one position that could be sured up is offensive tackle. It feels a veteran backup would be nice to add because right now there’s just Korey Cunningham and Yodny Cajuste as backup tackles. Although it’s worth noting if there were to be an injury, Michael Onwenu could slide to tackle and Ted Karras could take over at guard.

6. It is a little interesting the Patriots haven’t formally announced anything as it relates to joint practices. It was reported they would be having them with the Giants prior to the preseason finale, but nothing has been made official. We’re not saying they won’t happen — it’s just interesting there’s been no announcement.

7. This chart really is ridiculous when it comes to Tom Brady and winning. It’s all he (and his cities) do.

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