NFL rumors: Patriots decline WR N'Keal Harry's fifth-year option

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Report: Patriots decline WR N'Keal Harry's fifth-year option originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots unsurprisingly have decided not to exercise the fifth-year option in wide receiver N'Keal Harry's contract.

Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus reported Tuesday that Harry is one of 11 first-round picks from the 2019 NFL Draft whose fifth-year options have been declined.

The Patriots would've had to pay Harry a guaranteed salary of $12.4 million in 2023 if his fifth-year option was picked up.

Harry was selected by the Patriots at No. 32 overall. He has been a major disappointment in his first three seasons as a pro.

He's tallied 57 receptions for 598 yards and four touchdowns in 33 career games. The former Arizona State star played in 12 games last season, posting 12 catches for 184 yards and zero touchdowns. Not only has his production been lackluster, he's also missed a bunch of games due to injury.

The Patriots acquired veteran wideout DeVante Parker in a trade with the Miami Dolphins in April. They also drafted speedy Baylor wideout Tyquan Thornton in the second round of last week's 2022 NFL Draft.

Harry reportedly was "very much available" via trade during the draft but nothing materialized. He also requested a trade in 2021. It would be ideal for the Patriots to find a trade partner for Harry and get some kind of asset in return, but at some point, it's smart to just cut your losses and move on.