Arguably the best free-agent move that Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock have made since taking charge of the Las Vegas Raiders was to sign Nelson Agholor. The duo has had a ton of misses in free agency but picking up the former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver on a tiny contract was brilliant. He was the team’s best wide receiver in 2020 and was one of the best deep threats in the entire NFL.
The only problem with the tiny contract the Raiders gave Agholor is that it was only for one season. He’s now set to hit free agency and there’s a real chance he moves. Mayock recently made it very clear that he’d prefer if that didn’t happen.
“Nelly’s one of my favorite people in the whole world,” Mayock said. “When I lived in Philadelphia, I did the Eagles preseason games and Nelly was an Eagle. I was familiar with his work ethic and appreciated him back then. What he brought to the Raiders last year was off the charts. He brought a work ethic, a toughness, he brought the young guys along with him, and he brought productivity and trust with our quarterback.
“So all of those things he brought, we don’t want to lose. We’d love to have Nelly back. That’s a guy that I can’t tell you how much appreciation I have for.”
Based on those comments, it sounds that if Agholor leaves, it’s going to be because he doesn’t want to be a Raider. The team obviously wants him back. Derek Carr, Gruden and Mayock have all made that clear.
ALL the latest Raiders news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Why Agholor Wouldn’t Want to Return
Agholor went from being a punching bag for the Eagles’ fan base to one of the most beloved players for the Raiders. There probably isn’t a single fan around who wouldn’t want to see him in the silver and black again. He has an amazing rapport with Carr and his teammates love him. Why in the world would he want to leave?
Agholor is a competitor. He has a Super Bowl ring and wants to win. While the Raiders have an amazing history, they’ve only had one winning season in since 2002. The team was poised to make the playoffs last season but fell apart down the stretch. That didn’t sit well with Agholor as he reportedly went on a tirade against his teammates after the brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins. He might not want to run it back with a team that’s gotten too used to losing.
Will Agholor Re-Sign?
While Agholor should have a bigger market after an impressive season, he’s not done any favors by the fact that this year’s group of free-agent wide receivers is elite. He might not even break the top-10 players available at the position. He’s probably more valuable to the Raiders than any other team.
It’s understandable why he’d want to leave but Las Vegas is very close to building a winner. He could signup for one more year to see how things progress and then test free agency next year. Regardless, he’s probably going to see what he’s worth in free agency this year before he considers signing another deal with the Raiders.