Bears Insider

Bears can only come out as winners in low-risk trade for Harry

Bears Insider
N'Keal Harry

If there's one position the Bears desperately need an influx of talent, it's at wide receiver.
Out wide, it's Darnell Mooney, rookie Velus Jones Jr., and several veterans on one-year, prove-it deals, hoping more opportunity leads to a bigger impact from players like Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown.
So, the chance for the Bears to add a 24-year-old former first-round pick at minimal cost was a low-risk swing they had to take.
On Tuesday, the Bears traded a 2024 seventh-round pick to the New England Patriots for wide receiver N'Keal Harry, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo first reported.
In Harry, the Bears get a 6-foot-4 receiver in desperate need of a fresh start.
Harry was a star during his collegiate days at Arizona State. During his junior season, Harry caught 73 passes for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns before being the No. 32 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The book on Harry entering the draft was simple: He was a back-shoulder, contested-catch receiver who might struggle to separate at the NFL level with his 4.57 speed that lacked a top gear. Harry has a big body and good ball skills that could allow him to be a chain-mover on third down over the middle of the field and be a weapon in the red zone.
But things never materialized for Harry in New England. He didn't mesh well with Tom Brady during the legend's final season in Foxboro. Brady's lack of trust in Harry saw the receiver get only 24 targets (12 catches) on a team that lacked real receiving threats outside of Julian Edelman.
Brady's exit from New England didn't give Harry a clean slate in the Northeast. He never seemed to fit with the Patriot Way, eventually asking for a trade. And he might have found the perfect landing spot to resurrect his NFL career.
By trading a seventh-round pick for Harry, the Bears add a first-round talent on an expiring contract at little cost.
Harry has all the ingredients to be an average NFL wide receiver. Should he make the roster, Harry could see plenty of targets from quarterback Justin Fields, who still is developing chemistry with most of the receving corps. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy's offense should provide Harry with ample opportunities to catch balls over the middle and at the boundary.


Should Harry take advantage of his fresh start in Chicago, it could give the Bears' receiving corps some definition and pressure off the likes of Pringle and St. Brown.
Much like the signing of Dante Pettis, the Bears are taking a chance on talent. Hoping that when in a different environment, the innate ability that Harry possesses will surface, and he can start to perform as many expected coming out of college.
General manager Ryan Poles saw a chance to add a first-round talent for essentially nothing.
If Harry blossoms in Chicago, it could wind up being an all-time coup. If he continues on the track he was on in New England, the Bears can easily wash their hands of him without an ounce of regret.
It's the ideal low-risk, potentially high-reward move that's necessary for a rebuilding team to make.
There's no telling if N'Keal Harry will find N'Keal Harry now that he has a fresh start. But it was worth a swing for Ryan Poles and the Bears.

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