Eagles

Nelson Agholor ponders his future after nightmare 2019 season

Nelson Agholor ponders his future after nightmare 2019 season

Has any Philly athlete ever experienced the highs and lows that Nelson Agholor has experienced?

From three crucial first-down catches on the game-winning drive in a Super Bowl to … to pretty much everything since.

Nelly’s Eagles career is most likely over after five years. He caught just 39 passes for 363 yards and three TDs in 11 games this year and missed six of the last eight games while battling a mysterious knee injury.

After catching 18 passes for 168 yards and three TDs the first three weeks of the season, he had only 21 catches for 195 yards and no TDs in his last eight games.

And now he’s about to become a free agent for the first time.

Agholor spoke Monday, a day after the Eagles’ season ended, and reflected on five years of extreme highs and the lowest of the lows.

“Amazing,” he said. “Growth. Definitely growth. Opportunity to go through hard times and be at the highest point of happiness, too. I think I saw lows and I saw the ultimate high and in those opportunities is when you grow the most.”

Agholor had 9-for-84 in the Super Bowl, including three catches for 42 yards on the game-winning fourth-quarter drive.

That was supposed to be a springboard to bigger and better things for Agholor.

It never happened.

“The ultimate high, I’ve had some lows that really helped me grow as a man and put me at peace with understanding things you can’t control and also looking at yourself in the mirror and finding ways to get better,” he said. “It’s been a beautiful thing and it’s really helped form who I am as a man and I’m happy for that.”

It’s tricky trying to determine Agholor’s value on the open market.

He’s got 224 catches for 2,515 yards and 18 TDs over the last five years, which puts him between 40th and 50th in the league since he entered the league as a 1st-round pick in 2015.

Someone will sign him, but it will likely be an incentive-laden deal more in the $3 million per year range than the $9.4 million he earned this year.

“Having a choice is a good thing, but they always say the grass is always greener on the other side, so you have to remember that,” he said. “It’s a blessing to have been a Philadelphia Eagle and if the opportunity continues to be here I’ll be happy for that, too.”

Agholor described his knee injury as degloving, which happens when your skin is torn from the bone or connective tissue.

He said he underwent five treatments to try and resolve the problem and get on the field. He stayed on the 53-man roster because his doctors felt he had a chance to recover.

“You don’t put somebody on IR when you’re trying to follow protocol that could bring them back,” he said.

He said he’s seeing a specialist in Pittsburgh to learn more about the injury and determine what to do next.

“It ended up overtaking my kneecap and my quad muscle,” he said. “Degloving is something that happens to people who get into car accidents and it’s a shearing of the tissue that forms continuous inflammation. I have studied it a little bit, but it’s hard for me to explain because it’s like how the hell do you do that in football? But it happened.”

Agholor first hurt his knee back in Week 5 in a loss to the Vikings. He aggravated it a month later when he landed on his knee in the end zone at the end of loss to the Patriots.

How much were his knee issues related to his inability to make the big plays he had a chance to make? We’ll never know.

“It wasn’t easy at all,” he said about the 2019 season. “It’s something I hated. I want to be healthy and play at a high level to help these guys out. It was a learning opportunity for me. Obviously when you go through things like this when you’re younger it’s a little bit harder. When you’re older it’s a chance for you to grow.”

When Agholor plays football again, it will be somewhere else. Few people have ever been in need of the proverbial fresh start more than Agholor.

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Eagles choose to sit tight, watch as Brandin Cooks is traded to the Texans

Eagles choose to sit tight, watch as Brandin Cooks is traded to the Texans

Another week, another starting wide receiver changing teams - and the Eagles still remain on the sidelines.

The Rams traded Brandin Cooks and a future fourth-round pick to the Texans on Thursday for the No. 57 pick in this month's NFL Draft, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Cooks, 26, is headed to his fourth team since being drafted by the Saints in 2014, and his third team since 2017.

The Texans' move, of course, comes a little more than three weeks after Houston traded DeAndre Hopkins, a superior wide receiver, to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for basically a second-round pick and running back David Johnson.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman implied in late March that the Eagles were involved in the Hopkins discussions, but couldn't - or didn't want to - match the Cardinals' offer. It was an interesting argument, considering the Birds' absolutely dire need for wide receiver help, but Roseman isn't one to overpay when he draws a line in the sand. 

It's unclear whether the Eagles were in the mix for Cooks, a player who they've been linked to in previous trade talks.

NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro broke down the pros and cons of a potential Cooks-to-Eagles deal, and concluded that while Roseman should've at least been talking to the Rams about Cooks, trading a second-round pick for a player with concussion history who isn't getting any younger wouldn't be a smart use of capital:

Should they trade away the No. 53 pick for him? No way! Especially not in a draft that’s this deep at receiver. And not for a high-priced player coming off his worst NFL season and who might be one concussion away from the end of his career.

The fact that the Texans' Bill O'Brien, not exactly one of football's most revered decision-makers at the moment, traded the No. 57 pick for Cooks tells that Dave was on the money.

Of course, this leaves the Eagles with one fewer way to fix their wide receiver woes. They are clearly eyeing the draft, where a historically deep wide receiver class should net at least one contributor.

Will it be in the first round? Players like Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs seem like game-changers, but they might not be available without the Eagles trading up. If they don't, guys like Brandon Aiyuk could be available with the second-round pick Roseman just decided to not trade.

And if they wait past the first wave of top-tier wideout talent, there are plenty of names to watch in the later rounds.

One thing's for certain: things are starting to heat up, and that's normally when Roseman starts making moves.

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Sidney Jones: 'You haven't seen nothing yet'

Sidney Jones: 'You haven't seen nothing yet'

“There’s a whole lot left. That’s all I can tell you. You haven’t seen nothing yet," Sidney Jones said Thursday afternoon in an interview. 

Jones is going into his third real season in the NFL. He has gone through injuries. He’s been a healthy scratch.

Howie Roseman said, “It’s time for him to prove it," and Jones agrees.

“Adversity builds character," he said. "I feel like I have weathered the storm. I am ready to show what I can do and prove it."

Jones is working out in Texas with noted defensive backs trainer Ronnie Braxton. They are working on physical and mental techniques. I asked Jones if his confidence has been affected through his ups and downs.

“It probably could have," he said. "I’m not going to lie. But you’ve got to keep pushing through it and that’s where I’m at right now, working with everybody in my circle that’s getting me back right." 

Jones is also working with veteran cornerback Chris Harris, who was just named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team. Jones wishes Harris would’ve signed with the Eagles, but Harris chose the Chargers in free agency. 

“Just to be around guys like that and to watch him and watch his moves and see how they go about their business, I can just follow him and pick up tips," Jones said.

Jones is thrilled the Eagles traded for his “boy” Darius Slay. Jones says having Slay with the cornerback will help him, and he says the two have a similar body type.

“Veteran leadership," he said. "He’s been around the game and has experience. I think it’s going to be really good for us."

Jones said the Eagles did not say anything to him after they traded for Slay. The word is Jones and Avonte Maddox will compete for the other outside cornerback spot, and Jones is ready to compete. 

“I am ready," he said. "I don’t think anybody is working as hard as me right now”

How motivated is he?

“I can’t even describe," he said. "It’s not even on the radar. It’s 1,000 times above that. I’m excited, man.”

Jones and his fiancée donated $25,000 to The Philly Pledge, following Rodney McLeod’s lead. Jones wants to help people in Philly, and wants to stay in Philly.  

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