Nelson Agholor was a former first-round pick out of USC. After a subpar start to his career, things really picked up in his first year with the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, he enters free agency at age 27. The Chicago Bears could be in the market for a wide receiver, and while the Raiders do want to bring Agholor back, it looks as though he will at least hear other offers.
Should the Chicago Bears look to sign Nelson Agholor, or pass for other options?
Projected Contract for Nelson Agholor in Free Agency
Over The Cap has his valuation at about $8 million per year. This is in line with other projections as well. PFF has him receiving a 2-year, $15 million deal, while Spotrac has him at 2-years, and $19 million. Meeting in the middle would be about $8 million per year.
A two-year deal also makes sense for a player who was successful last season, but also is volatile and may need an out if things go wrong.
The Chicago Bears Should Sign Nelson Agholor in NFL free agency
The Bears need playmakers, and speed on offense and Agholor brings that. The big difference between his Eagles days and the Raiders is that he was converting big plays at a much higher rate.
Last season he caught 11 of 23 passes that went over 20 yards and converted six touchdowns. For perspective, his last two seasons in Philly combined for 9-35 with one touchdown. His average depth of target also leaped from 9 to 11 to 15 over the past three years. He was misused in Philadephia but has been unleashed, and now we are seeing why this talent was a first-round pick. Agholor is still only 27 and will be about half the cost as Allen Robinson.
Chicago Bears should pass on signing Nelson Agholor
The big difference was in his success down the field, but also in usage. The Eagles used Agholor as a player who ran about 55% of his routes out of the slot. That dropped to 26% in Las Vegas, as Hunter Renfrow took the majority of slot snaps. We saw the upgrade.
In one way, that is good for Chicago, he needs to step in for a potential Allen Robinson loss. In another, he is playing a role more similar to Darnell Mooney than Robinson. Without being trusted in the slot, he is not stepping in for Anthony Miller. From the outside, Agholor does not work the middle or intermediate areas of the field in the way that Robinson can. The Bears would certainly see the drop-off. They would just have two deep shot specialists on the outside with Agholor and Mooney.
Beyond that, it is still risky giving Agholor that type of money, even if it less than Robinson. For five years, he was a let down with drop issues. He was a good fit with Derek Carr, and in a Jon Gruden offense, and may just want to stay there. Anywhere else he comes off as a risk for the money he will demand.
If the Chicago Bears do in fact end up trading for Carson Wentz, does that make it less likely? He certainly struggled with Wentz although he would be deployed differently.