Ex-Raiders WR Nelson Agholor, Patriots Reportedly Agree to 2-Year, $26M Contract

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 15, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) reacts to a touchdown being being called back for a penalty against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan.. 3, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)
Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

Nelson Agholor is on the move again after agreeing to a deal with the New England Patriots, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the deal is worth $26 million over two years.

The move could signal an end to the receiving woes suffered by the Patriots, who posted 180.6 yards of passing offense per game, ranking third-worst in the NFL. 

After struggling in his final season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Agholor had a career year with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020. He set personal bests with 896 yards and 18.7 yards per reception, and he tied his career high with eight touchdowns. 

The 27-year-old turned out to be one of the best free-agent bargains last season. He signed with the Raiders for a $910,000 base salary, the veteran minimum in the NFL. 

Pro Football Focus ranked Agholor as the 10th-best free-agent wide receiver this offseason:

"It's been a career of inconsistency for Agholor, who has been good in two of his five years with three other seasons being marred by dropped passes and disappointing production. However, Agholor was an excellent slot receiver for the Eagles in 2017, as Philadelphia quarterbacks had a 114.5 passer rating when targeting him. 

"His 2020 campaign with Las Vegas has netted similar production, albeit in a different role. Agholor has become a legitimate downfield threat for the Raiders, posting career-highs in yards, and touchdowns while dwarfing his career yards per reception numbers with a 17.9 mark. The question is whether Agholor can sustain his success, and that question is better asked of him in a complementary role rather than a feature one."

There is certainly a level of uncertainty built into the USC product as an NFL player. He has averaged fewer than 12 yards per reception three times in six seasons. He's caught eight touchdowns in a season twice, in 2017 and 2020, but he has just 10 touchdowns in his other 59 games played. 

If the Patriots get the good version of Agholor, he will make a significant impact and could be a safety net out of the slot for an offense that certainly missed an injury-plagued Julian Edelman in a youthful receiving corps.

It's a big risk, but it's one that could pay off in Bill Belichick's scheme.