Veteran WR Could ‘Resurface’ With Bears if Cut, Says Analyst

Nelson Agholor

Getty Some analysts think WR Nelson Agholor could be cut by the New England Patriots.

Veteran wide receiver Nelson Agholor is currently on the New England Patriots‘ roster, but one analyst thinks he could wind up with the Chicago Bears before the 2022 season begins.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report named Agholor as one of “the most surprising” potential veteran cuts of the offseason, and considering Chicago’s need at wide receiver, Moton thinks he could wind up in the Windy City.

After drafting rookie wide receiver Tyquan Thornton in the second round at No. 50 overall, the Patriots got younger at the position while adding speed — which is arguably the most attractive trait Agholor possesses. Moton thinks the addition of Thornton could mean the end of Agholor’s time in New England.

“With the addition of wideout DeVante Parker, whom New England acquired from the Miami Dolphins, and rookie seconder Tyquan Thornton, the Patriots may have written enough on the wall to signal Agholor’s departure in the coming weeks,” Moton wrote on May 25.

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Money Could Also Be a Factor for Patriots

The Pats would add $4.8 million in cap space by releasing Agholor, but they’d also eat $10 million in dead money, per Spotrac, which is significant. It’s not a guarantee they’ll keep Agholor around, but it does make his outright release far more unlikely.

“He’s more likely to restructure his deal or become the subject of a trade,” Moton noted, adding: “Nevertheless, New England may opt to cut Agholor and save approximately $4.9 million if team brass cannot find a trade partner for him. He may also push back against a pay cut.”

If Moton is correct and the Patriots do choose to part ways with Agholor, the Bears would make a logical landing spot. “If Agholor hits the open market, he could resurface with the receiver-needy Chicago Bears, who need a No. 2 option to complement Darnell Mooney,” Moton wrote.

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Would Agholor Be Good Fit in Chicago?

Agholor, who just turned 29 on May 24, spent his first five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected him in the first round out of USC (20th overall) in 2015. He played in 71 games for the Eagles, starting 62, before moving on.

He played in 15 games for New England last season, starting 13. He had 37 receptions for 473 yards (12.8 yards per catch) and three scores. This comes off a solid 2020 campaign with the Las Vegas Raiders in which he hauled in 48 passes for career-highs in yards (896) and yards per catch (18.7) while tying his career-high in touchdown receptions (8) in 13 starts and 16 games, per Pro Football Reference.

Darnell Mooney is the team’s likely WR1, with Byron Pringle, rookie third-rounder Velus Jones Jr. and Equanimeous St. Brown behind him. The Bears added veteran wideouts Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe in free agency, and they also have 2021 sixth-rounder Dazz Newsome and journeymen David Moore and Chris Finke vying for roster spots.

Agholor is an upgrade on some of them, as Jones and Newsome are still young and unproven and Pettis in particular has had trouble staying on the field in recent years, but the Bears likely want to see what they have in their young group of wideouts.

Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has made no secret about his desire to add speedy weapons on offense. Agholor, who ran 4.42 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, has speed — but he has also had an issue with dropped passes throughout his seven-year career. Per Pro Football Focus, he has 33 career drops, and he has never caught more than 60% of the passes thrown his way, according to PFR.

Agholor is a decent veteran WR, but even if he does get cut by New England — and that’s still a very big if — the Bears may be better served rolling with the likes of Pringle, Brown and company.

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