fb-pixel Skip to main content
patriots notebook

Patriots receiver N’Keal Harry won’t address trade request, saying he is happy here

N'Keal Harry goes through drills Friday at Patriots camp in Foxborough.Elise Amendola/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — As the Patriots were wrapping up their first week of training camp, wide receiver N’Keal Harry didn’t want to get into the public trade request his agent issued earlier this summer.

“Right now, I’m really not worried about anything trade-wise,” Harry said Friday morning after practice. “I’m focused on how to be the best version of myself on the field.”

Earlier in July, agent Jamal Tooson said in a statement that it would be best for both his client and the Patriots if “N’Keal moves on before the start of training camp.”

Asked whether he was comfortable with the statement released on his behalf, Harry deferred to his agent.


“Whatever happens with my representation, I mean, you guys can go ask my representation,” said Harry, who is under contract through the 2022 season, with a fifth-year option through 2023. “Y’all can have that discussion with them, but I’m not focused on any of that right now.”

Through three practices, Harry said, he remains comfortable with his standing with the Patriots. The 23-year-old wideout has put forth a strong showing during the padless sessions, including a couple of catches in the end zone.

“Everything’s been very normal,” he said. “I’m focused on helping this team win and doing whatever I can to become the best version of myself.”

Has there been any awkwardness between him and coach Bill Belichick or his teammates?

“Not at all,” he said.

As Tooson wrote in his statement, Harry’s production with the Patriots “hasn’t met the expectations” set by the parties after New England drafted the 6-foot-4-inch Arizona State wideout in the first round (32nd overall) in 2019.

Harry started his rookie year on injured reserve, and returned to catch 12 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. The following season, which was headlined by a quarterback change from Tom Brady to Cam Newton, Harry’s numbers still left much to be desired. He finished last year with 33 receptions for 309 yards and two touchdowns.


Harry expressed confidence that he can achieve much more.

“I have very high standards for myself,” he said. “A successful season for me would just be playing to the ability I know that I can play at. I know I can play at a very high level. That’s just my biggest goal for myself.”

One of Harry’s focuses this offseason was improving his mobility and flexibility by engaging in more stretching and agility drills. He’s hopeful that working on his body, as well as incorporating additional film study, will pay dividends.

“I feel like, the past couple of years, I’ve been focused on playing so big,” he said. “I feel like I lost a little bit of my wiggle.”

If he does stick around in New England, Harry certainly will have competition for targets. The Patriots signed wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor this offseason, along with tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. Jakobi Meyers, who led the team in targets (81) and receiving yards (729) last season, also is back in the fold.

Harry, however, said he “definitely” feels he is putting himself in a position to earn a regular role.

“My confidence has been very good this training camp,” he said. “I feel like anything they ask me to do, I can do it and I can do it at a high level. Confidence is absolutely not an issue for me right now.”


So, would he be happy if he were still a Patriot at the end of training camp?

“Absolutely,” Harry said.


“I just feel like I can really help this team win,” he said. “I feel like I can have a big role within this team.”

Stidham out 12 weeks after back surgery

Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham underwent back surgery Wednesday and is expected to miss 12 weeks, according to NFL Network.

After fully participating in the team’s offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp, Stidham began training camp on the physically unable to perform list and has been unavailable to practice. Belichick acknowledged Wednesday that Stidham would miss “a little time.”

Stidham’s current rehabilitation timetable points to a return to action in late October.

Newton had hinted at a potential procedure when he sent his teammate well wishes during his remarks after Friday’s practice.

“Shout out to him,” Newton said. “Hopefully everything went good for him.”

In Stidham’s absence, the Patriots claimed Jake Dolegala off waivers to serve as an additional passer during training camp. Through his first two practices, Dolegala, a familiar face from last season’s practice squad, has not earned reps during the team’s 11-on-11 period but has participated in drills with the wide receivers.

The Patriots now have four quarterbacks on the 90-man roster: Newton, Mac Jones, Brian Hoyer, and Dolegala. The team must finalize its 53-man roster by Aug. 31.


Patriots add offensive lineman

The Patriots signed offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins on Friday. Hawkins, a 2016 fourth-round draft pick, appeared in 13 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season . . . While Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown said he enjoys working with offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo, he also gave a quick shoutout to former coach Dante Scarnecchia: “I was just telling the guys the other day I wouldn’t be mad if Coach Scar came and cussed me out one good time” . . . It doesn’t sound like coaching is in Hoyer’s future as of right now. The 35-year-old journeyman joked: “I think my wife may leave me if I do that. ‘Honey, I am going to work longer hours and get paid less.’”

Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang.