New England Patriots Rumors: 3 trade candidates before the 2022 season

New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
Damien Harris #37 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots trade candidate No. 2: Damien Harris

Damien Harris’ name has been floating around in trade rumors for some time now, and while it may seem strange to suggest he could be traded before the start of the season, it may not be a completely outrageous suggestion. Let’s take a closer look as to why that’s the case.

For starters, Harris’ production was virtually matched by Rhamondre Stevenson last season. Stevenson is considered by many to be the running back with the higher ceiling among the two of them, and he’s widely expected to take over the starting running back role at some point in the future. There’s a chance that could happen as early as this season.

Harris is also entering the final year of his contract, and is going to be set for a considerable pay raise after the season. With Stevenson waiting in the wings, there’s a decent chance that Bill Belichick doesn’t want to pay Harris for a new deal, especially given how injury-prone he has been throughout his career.

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There are running back-needy teams that would gladly take Harris off the Patriots’ hands if they felt inclined to trade him. New England has reportedly shopped Harris around a couple times throughout the offseason, and they could become more aggressive in their efforts to move Harris as the season nears.

Similar to the Bourne situation, though, New England probably isn’t in any sort of rush to trade Harris. But they would run the risk of losing him for nothing this offseason if they let him hit free agency, and if Belichick has no intention of handing Harris a deal, it’s probably in his best interest to get something in return for him while he can.