Nelson Agholor’s last dance: Why Eagles season finale is his biggest game

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It’s been a strange season for Nelson Agholor. After starting the year with an impressive touchdown against the Clelvand Browns, old demons began to present themselves. As the second year receiver battled with drops and a struggle to execute the simpler intricacies of the game, the pressure started to build. The receiving corps wasn’t executing and fighting a severe lack of depth, while the media continued to pine for veteran’s at the trade deadline, undrafted preseason heroes and the return of a modern Eagles icon.

Eventually, Agholor simply imploded. After a mild outburst to the media one week, Agholor was given a week off after a very personal post-game interview the next. “Getting outside of his head” was the key for Nelson Agholor and after returning from a week away from the game, aided by Sport’s Psychologists, Agholor looked primed to pick up where injuries and lack of consistency left off.

His numbers didn’t improve as drastically as many would have liked, but his effort and confidence certainly did. Whether it was driving for extra yards after the tackle, hustling at the line of scrimmage, sprinting back downfield after an interception or finally hauling in his second touchdown catch of the year, Agholor started to flash the potential that saw him emerge as a first round pick. But there’s just one game left in the regular season..and Agholor has generally been underwhelming.

Personal issues aside, football is a business..and Nelson Agholor is a first round pick who is yet to live up to that label. Currently fifth on the team in receiving, Agholor simply has to show something special in the last game of 2016..because if he doesn’t, his spot on the depth chart could be in jeopardy.

The free agency class is strong when it comes to Wide receivers..and for the Eagles, it means the opportunity to bring in a veteran presence at an ideally cheaper price. DeSean Jackson has been the name on the lips of every fan and writer for months now, while Alshon Jeffery and Terrelle Pryor could still pose interesting additions. Backed by a deep draft class, the Eagles are in a prime position to improve one of the weakest yet most important spots on the roster.

For Nelson Agholor, this is worrying, The Eagles receiving corps currently consists of:

Jordan Matthews
Nelson Agholor
Dorial Green Beckham 
Bryce Treggs
Paul Turner

With two undrafted rookies and a receiver who has but flashed in a disappointing year, while Dennis Kelly has opened up various aspects of the Titans Offense, the group aren’t exactly stable when it comes to job security. The question is, if the Eagles bring in a featured wideout, what happens to Agholor?

Trading him would make little sense from both a financial and depth standpoint. Agholor, entering his third NFL season has flashed plenty during 2016 and problems aside, still possesses more upside than Treggs and Turner.

With Agholor currently being the team’s prominent outside threat, signing a Free Agent would demote him of that role. So would the Eagles then move DGB on in order to accommodate Agholor as a number two receiver, or seek another new face in order to add a fresh spark to the position?

It’s this chain reaction that makes the Eagles season finale against the Cowboys so important for the former USC standout. Agholor may not find himself being traded this year at least, but his position on the depth chart could well be coming loose..and if he is to secure his role as an outside receiver and convince the Eagles that he can still develop into the crisp route-runner they need, he absolutely has to shine in Dallas.

This may well be Nelson Agholor’s last dance. His last game to show the Eagles that he can still become a reliable number two receiver. If he fails to produce or continues to be haunted by old demons, that chance, like many others this season will be squandered. If he can record his second touchdown in as many games and build on that surge in confidence experienced in the emphatic win over New York however, he could throw a spanner in the works and give the Eagles one more decision to ponder over when it comes to building their team for next year.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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