November 24, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts with wide receiver N’Keal Harry. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports.
When the Minnesota Vikings host the Chicago Bears in Week 5, a new wide receiver will line up against Patrick Peterson or Cameron Dantzler.
Tuesday, the Bears traded a 7th-round pick to the New England Patriots for wide receiver N’Keal Harryan old 1st round.
Harry never took off in New England with Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Mac Jones or Bill Belichick. He’s had 598 receiving yards and four touchdowns in three seasons, with a measly 18.1 yards per game on his resume. In Chicago, Harry makes a fresh start and will fight for a WR2 or WR3 job.
Alumnus of Arizona State, the Patriots selected Harry with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, infamously ahead of wide Deebo Samuel and AJ Brown, who quickly became superstars – unlike Harry. Patriots fans waited every year for a release from Harry that never happened.
The swap isn’t huge news, mainly because Harry was part of New England’s training bubble before training camp. He could reasonably have been released and free to sign anywhere in September – hence the low price of new Bears general manager Ryan Poles.
Harry’s addition comes in the middle of an offseason when the Bears have lost a litany of notable players. Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson, Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Tarik Cohen, Jimmy Graham, Tashaun Gipson, Jason Peters and Eddie Goldman have traveled elsewhere since the end of the 2021 season.
For now, the Bears’ receiving depth chart is filled with Mooneys and possibly hopeful-caliber players:
- Darnell Mooney
- Velus Jones Jr.
- Byron Pringle
- N’Keal Harry
- Dante Pettis
- Tajae Sharpe
- Equanime Saint-Brown
- David Moore
- Isaiah Coulter
- Nsimba Webster
- Dazz Newsome
- Chris Fink
- Kevin Shaa
In January, the Bears’ new boss, the Poles, claimed the Bears would end up winning the division and dominate. He said, “And the last thing, the most important piece, is that we’re going to take the North and never give it back.”
It is unclear whether Harry is the irrefutable gun of this proclamation.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).