The general consensus is that if the New England Patriots couldn’t make you a success, you’re doomed in the NFL. That is why expectations for N’Keal Harry, fresh off his trade to the Chicago Bears, are as low as they can get. The truth isn’t quite that clean cut. There are multiple examples of players failing to make an impact in New England who went on to productive careers. Jeremy Mincey, Ted Larsen, Lee Smith, and Braxton Berrios are some such names. Another is Darius Butler.
He knows better than most what it’s like to join the Patriots with high expectations and fail to meet them. He was a 2nd round pick for them in 2009. After only two seasons, he got cut. After a brief stint in Carolina, he found new life in Indianapolis, where he collected eight interceptions across the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He understands how challenging it can be playing in New England. That doesn’t mean they’re the only way to find success in the NFL. It’s why he believes Harry has a favorable chance to rebound in Chicago, as he explained on Good Morning Football.
Only UP from here N. Harry! 📈
— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) July 13, 2022
N’Keal Harry got what he wanted. Now he has to prove it.
The wide receiver requested a trade out of New England back in the summer of 2021. It was apparent even then that he had no future with the team. No deal materialized. To his credit, he still suited up for the team and became their best run blocker at the receiver position. He put his ego aside and did what was asked of him, even if it wasn’t what he wanted to do. Now he gets a fresh start on a team desperate for pass-catching weapons.
Justin Fields needs a bigger target like him. Somebody that can be effective on 3rd down and in the red zone. The Bears quarterback isn’t afraid to give his wide receivers a chance either. N’Keal Harry made his name as somebody that could outphysical any defensive back he played against, regardless of how good the coverage was. The Patriots never used him that way. Maybe the Bears will be smart enough to do so.
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