Nelson Agholor Has ‘Unfinished Business’ with Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Rumors have hounded Nelson Agholor throughout the offseason but the soon-to-be fifth-year receiver seems to be comfortable entering a contract year as part of what figures to be a loaded receiving corps for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Most assumed that if the Eagles moved forward with Agholor in the 2019 season it would be with a contract extension to lower the exorbitant $9.4 million salary he's set to make on the final year of his rookie deal as a 2015 first-round pick.
The additions of DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at receiver, along with running backs Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders, give Doug Pederson an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions, a group which also includes Alshon Jeffery outside the numbers, Agholor, and two top-tier tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
In theory that's a nice problem to have but one that also could most certainly become a problem at some point.
"Like you said, there is one ball. I think they understand that," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said Tuesday. "Maybe it's not unique, but one of the things that makes it a lot of fun to come to work every day is really all these guys want to do is win. They understand that by having a lot of good players it makes you hard to defend and that they might have to share the football."
Agholor is in the mix, presumably as the slot receiver although he's also seen plenty of work outside with Jeffery missing on-field OTA work.
When everyone is around the roles seem clear with Jeffery serving as the WR1 and Jackson the field-stretcher opening up the intermediate zones for Ertz, Agholor and Goedert. In the backfield, Howard will be the thunder to rookie Miles Sanders' lightning.
For Agholor numbers might be more important than the others with his second professional deal pending but the Southern Cal product certainly isn't something that implication.
“I know what kind of player I am,” he told reporters after practice Tuesday.
And the trade rumors that Agholor has certainly heard about from his camp throughout free agency and the draft?
"I didn’t really worry about it," Agholor said. "At the end of the day, I love this place. We have unfinished business."
Of the 12 receivers on the Eagles offseason roster, Jackson is the elder statesman and Jeffery has also been in the NFL longer than Agholor but as far as being at the NovaCare Complex only Agholor has been there for five consecutive springs and he's morphed from uncertain young player to confident veteran.
"What am I worried about? Am I worried that I’m going to have a job in this league? Agholor asked rhetorically. "Not at all. I want to be an Eagle and I’m here. At the end of the day, that’s for them to control and for me to say, ‘hey, I’m ready to play football for the Eagles.’ I’m ready to play football in general."
One of the issues for Agholor and every receiver that has been here has been the revolving door at the position coach with Carson Walch being the latest after the Eagles made Gunter Brewer a one-and-done guy. Previous to Brewer, Groh was elevated to OC after spending just a year as the successor to Greg Lewis.
After starting his career with two disappointing seasons through that constant change Agholor is coming off two successful, if not spectacular seasons, catching 62 balls for 768 yards and 8 touchdowns during the Super Bowl LII season and following that up with 64-736-4 in 2018.
With more options to work with those numbers may not spike for Agholor but that "unfinished business" may be taken care of.
“I’m going to bust my butt, man,” Agholor said about working in a crowded skill-position group. “Work hard, grind. At the end of the day, what’s meant for you will be for you.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen