What does a potential DeSean Jackson return mean for Nelson Agholor?
The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to have a keen interest in veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson. What does that mean for Nelson Agholor?
It’s 2019, and the Philadelphia Eagles are still searching for ways to get some of the old magic back from the players who did not reach Chip Kelly’s standards. Back in 2014, veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson was the first player to fall victim to Chip Kelly’s purge of the team. After Howie Roseman got demoted for a season, Chip made his first move by releasing Jackson for nothing.
Obviously, we all know the story about what went down after that. Jackson ended up signing with the Washington Redskins and would tear up the Eagles twice a year for the next three seasons. Then, Jackson’s time with the Redskins concluded, and he had interest in joining the Eagles once again knowing that Doug Pederson, not Chip Kelly was the head coach.
Unfortunately, the Eagles wouldn’t spend high on Jackson, which forced him to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers instead. As Jackson has spent the last two seasons in Tampa, he has been far from satisfied, dating back to the first half of his debut season there. Although Jackson has wanted out of Tampa since the 2018 trade deadline, the Bucs couldn’t find any suitors. And to this day, they are struggling to find any trade partners, but Jackson seems more than ready to move on. Hence the reason why he posted a premature goodbye letter via his Instagram.
Jackson sends a farewell message to the fans
Is he eyeing up a return to Philly?
According to ESPN, DeSean Jackson is eyeing up another potential return to the Eagles. While he doesn’t want to get low-balled in the market, he has made it clear that he wants to at least play for a playoff contending team. Naturally, being that Philly is a playoff contender, and is his old home, Jackson would be more than willing to come back to Philly for the right price. The only issue is getting Jackson back on a reasonable deal makes the wide receiver position very costly.
This year, Alshon Jeffery is set to make $11.75 million. Their slot wide receiver Nelson Agholor had his fifth-year option picked up last year, which has him on the books for $9.4 million in 2019. Now add in the potential $8-10 million that Jackson could cost, and the position gets very pricey this year. So assuming that the Jackson to Philly rumors is true, what does this mean for Agholor?
Would a Jackson signing end Agholor’s time in Philly?
Nelson Agholor has not lived up to his expectations as a first-round pick. His first two seasons in the NFL were abysmall, to say the least. Thankfully, the Eagles realized that Agholor needed to play permanently in the slot, which made his much more productive in year three. He finished out the year with career-highs all across the board with 62 catches for 768 yards and eight TDs.
Last year, Agholor was asked to take on a larger role at times with a few injuries, and he did okay with what he was asked to do. Still, his numbers were slightly regressed from his career-year as he reeled in 64 receptions for 736 yards and four touchdowns. At this point, Agholor is visibly under-achieving with his value as a first-round pick, which makes his $9.4 million cap hit pricey.
Having Agholor around in the slot is a plus, but for over $9 million, it doesn’t seem worth it. The Eagles need a speedy wideout to stretch the field, and although Agholor played that role a few times last year, he wasn’t all that reliable. Despite the age difference, Jackson may be worth more than Agholor at this point. Last year, Jackson finished with 774 yards, and four touchdowns in only 12 games. Not to mention, he led the entire NFL in yards-per-catch with 18.9. Djax’ still got it.
Unless the Eagles can somehow find a way to extend Agholor beyond 2019, freeing up cap space this year, there’s a good chance that he could be traded or released if the team seriously considers Jackson. Although letting a 25-year-old wideout walk for an older prospect doesn’t seem right, it truly does make sense. This could be Agholor’s final year with the Eagles regardless, and at this point, he might’ve already reached his peak. There’s still time for the Eagles to figure this out, but right now, Agholor’s future in Philly is undoubtedly in question.