Entering this offseason, many believed letting Nelson Agholor walk in free agency was a foregone conclusion. He took a major step back in 2019 and proved he could not be relied on as an outside receiver if needed.
I was totally fine with letting him leave. He’s always been a good slot guy, but once he’s lined up on the outside where he has to deal with more press coverage, forget about it. He’s borderline useless in that position.
But then I saw what Agholor signed for in Las Vegas. He’s literally making minimum wage for an NFL player out there. His deal is for one year and is worth up to $1.0475 million, with a base salary of $910,000.
Now I get it, it was probably best for both sides to part ways and get a fresh start. Agholor has always dealt with mental issues so asking him to come back here again and tough it out with a fanbase that has grown more critical of him with each year may have been too much.
But sheesh, for less than a million dollars? I don’t know how you can argue against bringing him back if that’s how much he would have cost.
It would’ve been a hard sell to the fans, but honestly, that shouldn’t matter to a team trying to win a championship. Agholor has always been a great slot receiver. Almost all of his struggles occur when he’s forced to play out of position.
In the two seasons where Nelly was asked to play primarily in the slot (2017-2018), he put up some very solid numbers. In those back-to-back seasons, Agholor totaled 126 receptions for 1,504 yards and 12 touchdowns. To put that into perspective, here are his totals from the three seasons he primarily played on the outside: 98 receptions, 1,011 yards and six touchdowns.
Clearly, Agholor is best suited for a role in the slot. If the Eagles receiving group stayed healthy last year, that’s where Agholor would have spent most of his time, and he more than likely would have earned a bigger pay check this offseason if it played out that way.
You could make the argument for Greg Ward being our slot guy moving forward, but did half a season really sell you on that? I agree he proved he belongs on an NFL roster, but I didn’t see him making some of the plays Nelly was making during his time in the slot.
I’d rather have Agholor on this team than Alshon Jeffery at this point, although I know the money plays a huge role in that decision. If the team went into next season with a first round pick playing on the outside along with DeSean Jackson, with Agholor and Ward rotating as the slot guys, I wouldn’t be too upset with that.
Getting out of Philly and getting a fresh start across the country was probably the best decision Agholor could have made this offseason. The expectations will always be higher for him with the Eagles than they’ll be anywhere else.
When the expectations were low entering the 2017 season with Nelly, he thrived and proved all of us wrong. Maybe that’s what will happen in Las Vegas this season, who knows.