Quite a stir happened recently when a report from Vic Tafur of The Athletic revealed that the Las Vegas Raiders had an accountability issue. One player who brought that to the forefront was wide receiver Nelson Agholor. After a 26-25 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 16, Agholor reportedly lit up the team.
While the obvious locker room issues are concerning enough, this report doesn’t exactly bode well for Agholor’s Raiders future. He was the best wide receiver for the team in 2020 but he’s a free agent this offseason. If he were to leave, the offense could take a serious hit if Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards don’t step up. Prior to the news of Agholor’s blow up dropping, general manager Mike Mayock made it clear that the team would like to bring the wide receiver back.
“We love Nelly, he’s got an amazing work ethic and we’d love to have him back,” Mayock said, per Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
These comments may have come before the concerning report but Mayock would obviously be aware of the situation. There’s no indication that Agholor is a bad teammate and his leadership might be needed more than ever.
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Should Raiders Re-Sign Agholor?
Based on how he played in 2020, it was clear the Raiders should at least try to bring Agholor back. With the recent news dropping, it’s now almost necessary they bring him back. There’s a huge leadership void with the silver and black. There’s only so much Jon Gruden, Derek Carr and Mayock can do. The Raiders need strong leaders.
Players like Rodney Hudson are great leaders, but he’s more of a lead by example type. The Raiders need guys who are getting into the faces of players who aren’t giving it their all. Agholor is clearly one of those guys. It’s easy to see why he wouldn’t want to come back. He’s coming off his best season as a pro and a team that’s ready to win would probably give him decent money. It’s entirely possible the Raiders bridge has been burned. However, the team would be wise to try and convince him that they’re headed in the right direction. If he leaves, the leadership void only becomes bigger.
Raiders Need to Bring in More Leadership
The Raiders have clearly tried to fill the leadership void with older veterans in the past. Jason Witten in 2020, Vontaze Burfict in 2019 and Derrick Johnson in 2018. The problem with all of those players is that they only played one season with the team (Johnson and Burfict didn’t play more than six games).
Las Vegas needs to not only bring in players with strong leadership skills, but they also need them to still be productive players. The Raiders can’t bring in players past their prime for one season and expect them to change the locker room. Though somebody like Lavonte David is a bit on the older side at 31-years-old, he’s the type of player the team should be looking at in free agency. A player who still plays at a high level, but can also bring excellent leadership.