The Chicago Bears have obtained wide receiver N’Keal Harry from the New England Patriots in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round draft choice, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.
Harry, the final selection in the first round of the 2019 draft (32nd overall), never truly panned out in New England after becoming the highest drafted receiver in Bill Belichick’s tenure (2000-present).
He totaled 57 receptions for 598 yards and four touchdowns in 36 regular-season matches. The 24-year-old joins a receiver room in Chicago led by Darnell Mooney, who led the Bears in receiving last season, and features plenty of new faces that will compete for playing time.
The Bears signed former Kansas City wideout Byron Pringle to one-year deal worth $4.125 million and used a third-round pick on Velus Jones Jr. Chicago also brought in Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis, Tajae Sharpe and David Moore to fill out its receiving corps this offseason.
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Harry, who had requested a trade prior to the 2021 season, faced an uphill climb to earn a roster spot this season after New England traded for veteran DeVante Parker.
In addition to Parker, the Patriots have Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne locked into the top spots on their depth chart.
Harry had not been a participant in the team’s voluntary offseason program, and during June’s mandatory minicamp, had been leapfrogged by others who had previously been behind him on the depth chart.
The Patriots, who are tight to the salary cap, receive roughly $1 million in much-needed relief by trading Harry.
In 2019, Harry had been a highly-touted prospect coming out of Arizona State, where he had appeared in 37 career games and totaled 213 receptions for 2,889 yards and 22 touchdowns. The Patriots had been excited about his physical makeup (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and knack for making contested catches.
While that didn’t manifest itself in New England, Harry now gets a fresh start in Chicago. The Bears still have an estimated $23.037 million in salary cap space to work with, which is the second-most in the NFL.
Chicago starts training camp on July 26 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill.
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