The Las Vegas Raiders were hit with a big win when the news dropped that they are signing Pro Bowl pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue. However, it was quickly followed up with some bad news. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Nelson Agholor is signing a two-year deal with the New England Patriots.
Patriots are giving former Raiders’ WR Nelson Agholor a two-year, $26 million deal, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2021
The $26 million price tag was likely too steep for the Raiders even though they didn’t hide the fact that they wanted to bring him back. Agholor had an uneven start to his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. He ended up signing with Las Vegas on the cheap last offseason on a “prove-it” deal. Well, he obviously was able to “prove-it” as he cashed in.
Agholor was the Raiders’ leading wide receiver last year with 896 yards. The most impressive stat from him was his 18.7 yards per reception, which was second in the NFL. The Patriots clearly wanted to make a splash this offseason and they have. Agholor will be a very strong target for Cam Newton if he ends up being the starting quarterback.
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Why Would Agholor Leave Raiders?
The decision for Agholor to walk is certainly a blow to the Raiders. General manager Mike Mayock recently made it very clear that he was hoping to bring the wide receiver back. Kudos to the team for not overpaying but there’s no doubt they would’ve liked to have him back.
Even though he’s getting a nice payday, it’s still a bit of a surprise that Agholor is ditching Las Vegas. First of all, Nevada has no state income tax while Massachusetts does. Depending on what the Raiders were offering, the money could’ve evened out. Also, Agholor took a beating from Eagles fans during his tenure there. It was completely different with Raiders fan. They loved him and wanted him to stay long-term.
At the end of the day, Agholor’s decision to leave likely just came down to money. It would’ve made a lot of sense for him to stay put in Las Vegas but nobody can fault the wide receiver for taking a big payday.
Raiders Now Have a Need at Wide Receiver
With Agholor headed to the east coast, the Raiders now have a need at wide receiver. It’s highly they rely on youngsters Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards heading into next season. Keeping Agholor would’ve been ideal but now the team needs to roll with the punches.
There’s plenty of wide receiver talent on the free-agent market this year. What the Raiders need to decide is if whether or not they want to make a splash and sign an expensive star. If not, they’ll probably do the same thing they did with Agholor last offseason. It’s easy to see the team signing a veteran wide receiver with upside coming in on a “prove-it” deal. Considering the team used a first-round pick to draft Ruggs last year, it’ll be hard for them to justify spending big on a wide receiver in free agency.