And so it ends. As TS Eliot put it, not with a bang, but a whimper. So devalued was N’Keal Harry’s stock that he went from the 32nd overall pick in 2019 to a seventh rounder in 2024, before his rookie contract even came close to expiring.
Never has so much expectation yielded so little results without there being a terrible tragedy or career-ending injury involved. Harry just simply didn’t produce at the beginning of his Patriots career, at the end, or anywhere in between. Or to quote that other great wordsmith, Ty Webb, “You’re not … good. Not good. You stink.”
Which shouldn’t imply it’s personal in any way. This is just an objective fact. To imply otherwise would just be spin. And you cannot put a shine on this turd of a career:
Receiving yards: 598
For some of then receivers taken after Harry, those production numbers would come with a name. Like “The First Half of the Season.” This is all the Pats could get out of him, despite pairing him with three different QB1s in his three seasons. By his final year, he was reduced to a blocking role, the sort of grunt work you ask of a UDFA/Special Teamer/roster bubble guy. Not someone you took 32 picks ahead of DK Metcalf.
Some time ago I said that if Harry didn’t turn it around 180 degrees, he’d represent the worst personnel decision in GM Bill’s Hall of Fame career. Eventually, I dropped the qualifier and just accepted it as his No. 1 mistake.
That might have been the Buffalo game this year when he slapped at a perfectly thrown Mac Jones pass like he was trying to catch it with Ping Pong paddles. Then on the subsequent play had one bounce off his shoulder pad, go straight up, get picked as Harry was knocked to the ground, and he pursued the returner with all the urgency of an RMV worker renewing your title. But then again, it might have been any of a hundred similar failures. I lost track of his awful plays the way his quarterbacks lost track of him on his many, many covered routes.
And now it’s officially official. The worst move of any kind in Belichick’s career is now the Bears’ problem. Best of luck to N’Keal Harry. But even more luck to Justin Fields trying to complete passes to him. He’ll need it.