As a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, it has been a privilege to watch Nelson Agholor grow from a struggling young player coping with mental mistakes into a viable threat as a slot receiver.
After struggling in his first two seasons with the team, Agholor rebounded with two consecutive productive seasons and proved to be an integral part of the Eagles Super Bowl LII championship run.
Agholor is set to be an unrestricted free agent after this season and although I do expect the team to make efforts and try to keep him as an Eagle, letting Agholor walk away in free agency may not be the worst idea in the world.
The reason I say this is because of the potential that rookie receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has in his path to developing as a productive and high caliber receiver in the NFL.
If Agholor doesn’t stick around next year, Arcega-Whiteside could potentially be the perfect replacement.
Arcega-Whiteside’s electrifying performance last night against Baltimore gave Eagles fans a glimpse of what he’s capable of doing, finishing the night with 8 receptions, 104 receiving yards, and a touchdown.
The rookie out of Stanford frequently found a way to get open, displayed great route running savvy, and exemplified his abilities to run after the catch.
The Eagles have a plethora of expiring contracts to deal with after this season and despite whatever moves general manager Howie Roseman may make to increase the Eagles salary cap, he’s not going to be able to renew all of those contracts.
Agholor is making just north of $9 million this year and it is reasonable to assume that he will probably expect to make somewhere around that figure per year in his new contract.
Arcega-Whiteside can serve as a cheaper and better alternative to Agholor, allowing the Eagles to allocate the money that would have gone to Agholor to instead flow to fixing crucial areas such as the defensive secondary.
Although unlikely, the Eagles could try and trade Agholor. There are plenty of teams that seek a complimentary number two receiver and Agholor would fit that role.
A potential trade that could happen is between the Eagles and the Houston Texans.
Many rumors speculate about the possibility of Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney being traded to Philadelphia.
The Texans are trying to trade Clowney and have displayed their unwillingness to commit to a long term deal with him by franchise tagging him.
Clowney has refused to sign the franchise tender, has held out of attending any team practices and preseason games, and presumably wants out of Houston.
Although the Texans are actively seeking a left tackle to protect the blindside of franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson, a receiver to go alongside DeAndre Hopkins would help Houston, especially considering the questions surrounding the health of Will Fuller.
The Eagles could trade Agholor and Halapoulivaati Vaitai in exchange for Jadeveon Clowney and some draft picks.
Vaitai did a great job stepping in for Jason Peters during the 2017-2018 season and played a pivotal role in the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. Vaitai has also displayed great versatility as he can function as both a tackle and a guard.
Both sides win in this case. Vaitai solves the problem at left tackle for the Texans and Agholor becomes another solid weapon in Watson’s arsenal. The Eagles get a disruptive pass rusher in Clowney, further bolstering their already potent defensive front, and the draft picks received will compensate for Clowney’s health issues.
Although Clowney would most likely be a one year rental, he would undoubtedly enhance the Eagles chances at winning the Super Bowl.
Whatever happens, I along with countless of other Eagles fans are fully confident that Howie Roseman will do what is best for the team and will put the Eagles in the best position to succeed in the future.