Nelson Agholor Trade? Mac Jones Probably Wouldn’t Be Big Fan Of It

'He's almost like a quarterback out there'


August 18

FOXBORO, Mass. — Judging by his comments Wednesday, Mac Jones likely wouldn’t be too happy if the Patriots traded Nelson Agholor before the season.

Agholor’s name has been floated in multiple trade rumors this offseason. In fact, a recent report indicated that the emergence of rookie wideout Tyquan Thornton in training camp could force New England to move Agholor and his $9 million base salary. Agholor also carries a $14.9 million salary cap hit, the third highest on the Patriots roster.

Many fans seem eager for an Agholor trade, as the veteran wideout wasn’t worth the investment in 2021, racking up just 37 catches for 473 yards and three touchdowns. Outside of an impressive debut, Agholor never quite looked comfortable in the Patriots offense.

However, the 29-year-old remains a talented wideout who is only one season removed from an excellent campaign with the Las Vegas Raiders. And, most importantly, he appears to have a strong on- and off-field chemistry with Jones, who spoke glowingly about him after Wednesday’s joint practice with the Carolina Panthers.

“I love Nelson. He’s obviously very quick, very fast,” Jones said. “He loves football. I don’t know that I’ve seen a receiver who understands football as well as he does in terms of just general knowledge. He’s almost like a quarterback out there.”

Agholor on Wednesday enjoyed arguably his best day of training camp. He caught all four of his targets during 11-on-11 periods while delivering a pair of touchdowns, including one that easily was the play of the day. Agholor also caught two passes Tuesday, one during 11-on-11s and another during 7-on-7s.

The veteran receiver has been consistently good throughout camp, perhaps a product of the extensive work put in by him and Jones during the offseason. Agholor was responsible for organizing early-April workouts in the Tampa area, where he attended high school.

“All of our guys have worked really hard,” Jones said. “We put in a lot of work together in the offseason. He was at all of the throwing sessions. That’s what we’re trying to grow from, like: ‘Remember that one time we were throwing, and I told you to do this? Let’s try it on the next play.’ We’ve all done that together as a group.

“He’s definitely done a good job, and we just need to keep consistency up with all those guys. Like I said, they all bring a different trait to the table.”

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The good news for Jones is that recent reporting suggests the Patriots won’t be able to trade Agholor even if they want to. Other teams aren’t interested in spending $9 million on a wideout who might only be No. 2 or No. 3 on their depth chart.

But Agholor’s workload in practice also indicates he could be safe from a trade. He spent the bulk of joint practices as one of three receivers on the first-team offense, joining DeVante Parker and Jakobi Meyers. That said, it’s unclear whether Kendrick Bourne’s apparent demotion was a result of poor performance, his undisciplined behavior Tuesday or strong showings from Agholor — or a combination of all three.

Bourne continues to have a disappointing training camp that makes it seem as if he could be the odd man out in the receiver room should New England look to make a move. That’s 100% speculation, though.

Ultimately, the Agholor trade rumors make sense on multiple levels, especially from a financial standpoint. But such a move still might not be in the best interests of the Patriots, particularly if they want to keep Jones happy.’s coverage of New England Patriots preseason is presented by Cross Insurance, protecting your team since 1954.

Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images
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