INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL’s annual scouting combine can give teams a little boost in the trade market.
And if a team wants to offer a trade for Nelson Agholor, apparently the Eagles would listen.
The Eagles are reportedly “open to moving” Agholor, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. It’s important to note that this bit about Agholor was buried in a story and he was lumped in with a group of four players who could possibly be moved. It’s also important to note the report doesn’t say the Eagles are shopping Agholor; just that they are “open to” trading him. Big difference.
On its face, this might actually make a little sense. Remember, Agholor is under contract for the 2019 season on his fifth-year option that comes with a non-guaranteed salary of around $9.4 million, with a matching cap number. The Eagles presumably don’t want to pay him that much this season.
But trading him isn’t the best option. Extending him is.
The Eagles should try to strike a deal with the former first-round pick that would alleviate some of that cap hit this season and offer Agholor a little more long-term stability.
Agholor is still just 25. It still seems like he’s just scratched the surface of what his ability could allow him to do in the NFL.
And Doug Pederson on Wednesday was effusive in his praise:
Nelson, oh man. Love this guy. He’s the first one in and the last one out. He’s a hard worker. Spends time before and after practice. Can’t say enough good things about Nelson Agholor and what he’s brought to the table and what he will continue to bring. I think last year, you look at the amount of guys we had, and then we added Golden (Tate) midseason.
I’m not going to stand up here and say it didn’t affect Nelson. I think it did. The question was asked earlier about getting everybody the ball. In this league, it’s a challenge … And yet Nelson didn’t complain. He came to work every single day. He put in the time, he put in the work. He was a huge part of what we did … I’m excited, I love working with him.
It might seem obvious that the move to pick up Tate last season hurt Agholor’s production, seeing as how they play the same position. But Wednesday was the first time the Eagles have admitted it.
Even with the Tate trade, Agholor put up decent stats. He had 64 catches for 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. In 2017, he had 62 for 768 and eight touchdowns. Interestingly, just two players have more 50-plus-yard catches in the last two seasons. Agholor had seven, while Josh Gordon had eight and Tyreek Hill had 10.
There’s also the thought that perhaps the Eagles could cut ties with Agholor (either release him or trade him) and then re-sign Tate. But that doesn’t make much sense to me either. Tate is five years older and less explosive.
After two pretty disastrous years to start his career, Agholor has shown his potential in the last two seasons. If he’s back in 2019, he’ll have his fifth receivers coach in five years, which also isn’t ideal.
But the Eagles drafted a player in the first round who has finally shown enough to warrant keeping around for a long-term deal. They shouldn’t trade that guy. They should try to find a way to keep him.
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