Trading Nelson Agholor could be what’s best for both the Eagles and their starting slot receiver

The $9.4 Million dollar question facing Howie Roseman and company this offseason is ‘what do we do with Nelson Agholor?’ In principle, the answer is relatively straight forward. Agholor is under contract for 2019 and has enjoyed a real resurgence over the last two years, becoming a featured player in Pederson’d offense. But, this is the NFL…and nothing is ever simple.

The Elephant in the room is that Agholor carries a $9.4M cap hit after the Eagles opted to exercise their 2015 first-round pick’s fifth-year option following his sensational 2017 breakout. This immediately raises concerns for a team pressed for cap space that by this point need no introduction. With Golden Tate sassily tweeting about negotiations that don’t exactly seem to be going swimmingly, and Jordan Matthews, who would be much cheaper, hitting the free agent market, one has to wonder what the future holds for Agholor.

Cutting Agholor would give the Eagles some instant cap relief as none of that $9.4M salary is guaranteed. However, there may be value for both parties in a trade, should they find a welcoming partner. The free agency market isn’t exactly littered with explosive slot receivers, but there are a couple of names that stand out.

Fresh off of an 816-yard season where he posted 5 touchdowns, 26-year old Adam Humphries is already setting the benchmark.

After setting career highs in both receptions and touchdowns, finishing second on the Buccaneers in receiving, Humphries will be one of the more sought after receivers this offseason. But if we compare that Agholor’s 736-yard campaign where he caught 4 touchdowns in a year of drastic offensive instability, the rise to $9.4M isn’t exactly that intimidating.

What makes this interesting is that the other top free agent slot wideouts include names like Randall Cobb, who hasn’t really been able to shine like he did in 2014 and has battled injuries ever since. Cobb still posted 383 yards and two touchdowns in 2018, but featured in just 9 contests, having not played a full season since 2015. If one of the more veteran wideouts of this class could realistically still clinch a contract around that same value, again, Agholor’s stock will only rise.

This is a blessing and a curse for the Eagles. No matter how they view this scenario, a restructure is surely on the cards, but on one hand, they could be getting extremely good bang for their buck in 2019. On the other, they realize that there would be virtually no chance in keeping Agholor past that point, and perhaps not investing in a developmental slot receiver or finding a longer-term option would work against them in the long run as the pressure of backloaded contracts starts to mount.

So, would a trade benefit both parties? Absolutely. Nelson Agholor is in a strange situation where his 2017 breakout was supported by a similarly impressive season that on tape, was overshadowed by inferior quarterback play by comparison and a midseason identity crisis offensively. The Eagles aren’t the type of team to overpay skill position players and they wouldn’t give Agholor the type of deal he could realistically get elsewhere. Meanwhile, the USC product at just 25-years old is only going to get better and a huge deal as he enters that ‘three-year prime’ window would be fitting. So, the Eagles either try to restructure or potentially risk losing him at the end of next season.

The alternative, as you’ve guessed, is trading. This benefits the Eagles, who can cash in on the value of one of their youngest and most productive offensive players, knowing they can at least get a very strong supporting cast at a cheaper rate, while Agholor has a chance to bargain for the deal he deserves.

In an offseason where cap space is minimal, roster turnover is at a new high and holes are opening up rapidly, trading Agholor could be seen as ‘cutting their nose to spite their face’. It’s a goodbye that no Philadelphia fan wants, but one that could open up the doors to finally finding the key ar WR2 and drafting an eventual replacement for a player who scrapped for playing time after the signing of Golden Tate. Agholor is too talented to let simply slip away into free agency, he’s too expensive to keep around at his current price and he deserves a deal where his long-term future is secure. A trade may ultimately be what’s best for both sides.


Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Liam is a 23-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just 36months he turned a hobby into one of the fastest growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 5,000,000 views and writing over 2,000 articles.
Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.

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14 thoughts on “Trading Nelson Agholor could be what’s best for both the Eagles and their starting slot receiver

  1. What about the WR that the Eagles drafted last year he came out of N. Carolina Tar Heels he was on IR I believe if Golden Tate wants to come back one year rental. Trade or Restructure his deal nelly. I really like Matthews!! I feel we can see what the WR from North Carolina can do when he is healthy. Draft a OT because Jason Peters is getting old let JP coach him up. I like Jordan hicks but we need a All Around LB I say keep Derby CB ,please let Corey G go we have potential on our DBs I feel like we need a Playmaker RB . I believe in DE Means eventually we need to draft a safety like Malcolm Jenkins who can cover as well as help stop the run. And trade our Super Bowl MVP Legend Nick Foles try to get a 2-3 draft or try to get two 2nd drafts picks for him

    1. Mack Hollins? Yeah, his phantom injury definitely leaves a lot of questions. I think it’ll be interesting to see what happens next year with him for sure! It’s going to be a big offseason that’s for sure

  2. It´s a nice plan , even if finding a guy of agholor caliber in the 5th round is a long shot,I think he is to pricey to keep around……

    We need a vertical speedy receiver and a running game, that would unlock our offense……

  3. Can’t see the Eagles trading Nelly. Why? He was a 1st round draft pick from the Chip Kelly era ,and I can’t see the team trading a 1st rounder away. My bet is on restructuring on the obviously too high salary for next year

  4. Aren’t we about to lose Golden Tate and Mike Wallace why would we trade Nelson Agholor unless we are gonna try to get Antonio Brown

    1. Antonio Brown wouldn’t play in the slot, he’s an outside guy. Because you could re-sign Tate or Matthews for a lot cheaper than $9M. Or you could draft to fill that void with the assets you gain

  5. Hey Liam…..why don’t you post the comments you get on your articles? Part of the enjoyment of reading something is not just what you have to say, it’s what posters add to the mix.

    Trading Agholor is a dumb idea. Just as he got his confidence back and was really starting to bloom, the Eagles decided he would now be on the outside, rather than in the slot where he flourished and played mostly in college. He is not an outside speed receiver, and once again, the Eagles tried fitting a square peg in a round hole, merely because they couldn’t find someone to take the top off the defense. Restructure Agholor to a $4-5M cap hit and give him a signing bonus prorated with performance. I’m pretty sure he would rather stay here, and if the Eagles move him back to the slot, they will have a very productive receiver for years to come at a very reasonable rate.

    1. Hey Steve, thanks for reading. I do publish all comments we get, believe it or not haha. We just don’t have a community that’s been around as long as some of the other sites but it’s building!

      I agree with that, I do think a restructure would be a good idea, but he’s going to know his value, especially if someone like Randall Cobb gets around $9M. If the money for skill positions keeps rising, he will likely not want to swallow what he’s worth. But hey, this culture is special and who knows what can happen?

      1. By trading Agholor , the Eagles would create another hole on the roster that they likely wouldn´t be able to patch up , since the cap situation is not ideal.

        I don´t know if Nelson would be up for that, but I would extend him for 3 years, at a reasonable rate,lowering his cap number, than draft his substitute and grow said substitute , then cut Agholor

        1. I understand that part of it. But re-signing Matthews to me feels like the best option. Scheme familiarity had a career year in YPC despite having such a scattered role and prove he could play outside. Then use a pick from the trade to draft the substitute

          1. Hum……That could work….

            I like Nelly, but I would rather have Jmatt + draft pick ( a 5th ? ) + cap space

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