LOWELL, Mass. -- Duron Harmon was not present for any of the Patriots OTA or minicamp practices held this spring, but he said on Wednesday that he's expecting to be ready for the start of training camp.
Harmon explained he was "just trying to clean up some things physically" while his teammates practiced through late May and into June.
He was one of a handful of Patriots regulars -- a group that included running back LeGarrette Blount, receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer and corner Logan Ryan -- who was not spotted by media members at Patriots practices, but he said, "I'm feeling good right now, and that's the only thing that matters."
When asked about his availability for training camp, where Patriots veterans will report on July 27, Harmon answered, "No worries at all. I'll be good. Ready to go. I'm excited."
Harmon suffered a knee injury in a Week 9 win over the Redskins last season, but he was removed from the team's injury report less than two weeks later. He was not included on the final injury report of the season leading up to the AFC title game against the Broncos.
Headed into his fourth year with the Patriots, Harmon is coming off a season in which he set a career-high with 683 snaps. Taking advantage of his range, the Patriots often asked him to patrol the deep part of the field in three-safety nickel packages that also included Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.
Pro Football Focus graded Harmon as the sixth-best safety in coverage last season -- one spot ahead of Eric Weddle and one spot below Earl Thomas, two of the best in the league at the position over the course of the last several years. He also checked in with a 74.7 quarterback rating when targeted, per PFF, which placed him 22nd among safeties who played at least 25 percent of their team's snaps.
Harmon is one of several Patriots players headed into a contract year. While corner Malcolm Butler and linebackers Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins have garnered much of the attention, there are other players like Harmon, Ryan, and defensive end Jabaal Sheard who are also staring at the prospect of hitting free agency after the 2016 season.
Harmon knows what's on the horizon, but he said he's not devoting much time to thoughts of a new contract at the moment.
"To tell you the truth, I realize, just talking to Dev, he's been through the situation, and he tells me all the time, the more time you focus on contracts and all that, the less time you have to focus on your craft," Harmon said while visiting Sports International Football Camp. "I'm putting that in the back of my mind. I'm focusing on getting better, being able to go out there and make some plays for the New England Patriots, and just help them win some football games."