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Patriots Decline Fifth-Year Option On N'Keal Harry

BOSTON (CBS) -- N'Keal Harry will be playing for a new contract in 2022. The Patriots have reportedly declined the receiver's fifth-year option.

That comes according to Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus, and the news really shouldn't be a big surprise given Harry's lack of production for  the Patriots over his first three NFL seasons. If the Patriots had picked up Harry's option, he would have made $12.4 million for the 2023 season.

Harry has struggled to produce anything for New England after the Patriots drafted him 32nd overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. He suffered an ankle injury late in the preseason during his rookie year and didn't return until November. He saw action in just seven games as a rookie, finishing the year with two touchdowns off 12 receptions.

He made just 33 receptions over his 14 games in 2020, and then requested a trade through his agent ahead of training camp in 2021. The Patriots did not trade him though, and Harry suffered a shoulder injury during the preseason that sidelined him for the first four weeks of the season. He played in 12 games in 2021, catching just 12 passes for 184 yards and no touchdowns.

Over his three-year career, Harry has recorded just 57 receptions for 598 yards and four touchdowns. He hasn't lived up to the expectations of a first-round selection, and will now have even more competition to catch passes from Mac Jones when camp begins this summer.

The Patriots added to their wide receiving corps this offseason, trading for veteran DeVante Parker while drafting speedster Tyquan Thornton in the second round at the NFL Draft. That duo joins Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers on New England's somewhat crowded wide receiver depth chart, leaving very little room for Harry to carve out a role.

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