As of late Monday night on Halloween, the New England Patriots hadn’t moved any of the players who have been more commonly mentioned as potential trade bait. However, one of the main players targeted may not have done himself any favors if he’s hoping to catch the eye of a potential suitor.
Former Patriots tight end and current WEEI personality Christian Fauria slammed New England wide receiver Nelson Agholor for what he described as a “pathetic” blocking effort on a play that led to a Mac Jones incompletion on Sunday vs. the New York Jets.
Take a look at Fauria’s tweet, which included a
video to back up his criticism of Agholor’s play.
In so many words, Fauria is calling Agholor’s efforts here selfish. He says the receiver is “too worried about getting into the route,” which is why he didn’t give a more spirited attempt to block the Jets’ pass rusher.
Based on the video evidence, it is hard to dispute Fauria’s claims.
Will Nelson Agholor Be Traded?
Trading Agholor has always been seemingly the toughest deal to swing amongst the Patriots’ most discussed potential trade chips. Agholor is the final year of a two-year, $22 million deal. If the Patriots did find a suitor for him, they would have to work out something with his new team about the amount each squad is responsible for paying.
Because Agholor is coming off a weak year in 2021 and is off to an even slower start in 2022, his trade value isn’t especially high. He might need to find a change of scenery, but acquiring him and his expensive contract–even if it’s prorated–is a risk.
That risk could cut into the draft assets with which a team is willing to part ways in exchange for Agholor. At this point, it would be a surprise to see Agholor go for anything more than a sixth-round pick unless the Patriots agree to pay most of his remaining salary. Perhaps if Bill Belichick and Co. pick up most of the tab, he could bring them back a fifth-round selection.
Because of the dynamic, the Patriots might have a tough time finding a suitor. However, that doesn’t mean Agholor will be on the team much longer.
Would the Patriots Simply Release Agholor?
Agholor’s contract carries a $14.8 million cap hit. There is a dead cap number of $10 million. If the Patriots trade him, they could save $9.9 million. If that’s impossible, they could release him and still save themselves $4.9 million.
New England will likely look to see if they can get something back for Agholor. If not, Agholor and Isaiah Wynn seem like the players most likely to find themselves elsewhere in the next few weeks.
New England has enough depth at wide receiver with Jakobi Meyers, Devante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, and Kendrick Bourne–who has also been the subject of trade rumors–to move on from Agholor.
New England also still has Tre Nixon and Lil’Jordan Humphrey, whom they can recall from their practice squad if they find themselves in a pinch late in the season. We’ll find out soon if Agholor gets moved or released.