3 surprise cuts the Patriots can make this offseason

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MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – JANUARY 09: N’Keal Harry #1 of the New England Patriots is defended by Byron Jones #24 of the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick’s club returned to the playoffs after missing out 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 instance from 2009-19. From 2001-18, the team made nine Super Bowl appearances in 18 years. From 2001-19, the club posted 19 straight winning campaigns – the second-highest streak in NFL history.

It all came apart for the New England Patriots in 2020 when veteran quarterback Tom Brady and a slew of other players opted to go elsewhere. But last offseason, the Patriots uncharacteristically opened their checkbook during free agency and it paid off with a return to the playoffs.

But now the franchise may have to step back and make some tough 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 selection in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Off 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 played in only 33 regular-season contests and two playoff games in three years. Harry has missed a total of 16 outings since ’19.

In those 33 games, he’s been targeted a combined 103 times and has caught just 57 passes for 598 yards and four scores. That’s a dismal 55.3 reception percentage. For numerous reasons, Harry has been a disappointment and it may be finally time to cut ties.

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