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Bill Belichick’s club returned to the playoffs after missing the game in 2020. What changes could the New England Patriots make to their roster?
The franchise set NFL records for consecutive division titles and playoff appearances – 11 straight in each case from 2009-19. From 2001-18, the team played nine Super Bowl appearances in 18 years. From 2001-19, the club aired 19 consecutive winning campaigns – the second highest in NFL history.
It all came apart for the New England Patriots in 2020, when veteran quarterback Tom Brady and a number of other players chose to go elsewhere. But last offseason, the Patriots uncharacteristically opened their checkbook under free agency, and it paid off with a return to the playoffs.
But now the franchise may have to step back and make some difficult financial decisions. Bill Belichick’s club fell apart down the stretch, so there’s more work to be done. So could the following three players be on their way out of Foxborough?
3. WR N’Keal Harry
He was the final pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. After their sixth Super Bowl championship, the Patriots looked to add to their receiving corps via the selection of Arizona State wideout N’Keal Harry. The former Sun Devil has only played in 33 regular season competitions and two playoff games in three years. Harry has missed a total of 16 excursions since ’19.
In those 33 games, he has been targeted 103 times and has only caught 57 passes for 598 yards and four goals. That is a dismal reception rate of 55.3. For several reasons, Harry has been a disappointment, and it may finally be time to cut ties.