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What Nelson Agholor Brings to Baltimore Ravens

What Nelson Agholor Brings to Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens signed Agholor to a one-year $3.25 million deal. What does he bring to Baltimore?
Nelson Agholor

The Baltimore Ravens recently signed wide receiver Nelson Agholor. The 29-year-old has signed a one-year deal for $3.25 million, with the potential of another $3 million through incentives. Agholor is the first external free agent signing for the team this off-season. Baltimore’s transaction wire has been quiet (outside of minor re-signings) due to the complicated contract standoff with Lamar Jackson.

Agholor spent the last two seasons with the New England Patriots. In 2022, he had a quiet season in the dysfunctional Patriots offense. He managed just 362 yards and two touchdowns on 31 receptions. Prior to his Patriots stint, Agholor spent time on the Las Vegas Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles, the team that drafted him. He had his most productive year in his lone season with the Raiders (2020) and won a Super Bowl with the Eagles.

Baltimore faced Agholor on the Ravens during the 2022 season. In that game, Kyle Hamilton established himself as a core contributor by stripping Agholor of the ball late in the fourth quarter to seal Baltimore’s victory over New England.

What Nelson Agholor Signing Means for Ravens

There was no question that Baltimore needs receivers in their new updated offense. Having hired Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator, Baltimore are looking to revamp their offensive system and personnel this off-season. While signing Agholor is a small step, his arrival represents the direction that Eric DeCosta is taking with the offense.

Although Ravens fans are largely preoccupied with Jackson’s contract saga, Agholor’s signing presents some optimism. It is also, perhaps, a way to show Jackson that the team are willing to invest in him. The former MVP had expressed frustrations at the lack of receiver help he has in Baltimore and was particularly publicly critical about Marquise Brown’s trade to the Arizona Cardinals.

With that said, most of Agholor’s signing bears interest beyond its ties to Jackson. He will likely find a starting role on Baltimore’s offense, but this is dependent on whether Baltimore add any more firepower to the position.

Nelson Agholor’s Depth Chart Ranking and Usage on Ravens

Outside of Agholor, the Ravens receiver room currently consists of Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Tylan Wallace, Andy Isabella and Shemar Bridges. Of this crop, Agholor would likely be the team’s second or third wide receiver. Bateman is projected to be the primary boundary threat with Duvernay in the slot, while also being used as a gadget player. This leaves Agholor in the spot opposite Bateman.

The acquisition of Agholor should probably come as no surprise. Despite Baltimore declaring an overhaul, Agholor fits the mold of receiver that Baltimore likes. With a slightly smaller frame, Agholor is a solid route runner who is a good deep threat and can play in the slot. In his NFL career so far, Agholor’s ability to remain relatively healthy is perhaps his biggest bonus. Both Bateman and Duvernay saw their seasons ended early in 2022 thanks to season-ending injuries. Agholor may be able to provide a bit more stability should the Ravens receivers suffer any injury woes in 2023.

As it stands, Monken’s Baltimore offense is hard to predict. However, Agholor has traditionally assumed the deep threat role for his previous teams. As such, expect Monken to deploy Agholor to stretch defenses vertically, allowing for more mesh, slant and crossing concepts for Bateman, Duvernay, Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely.

Agholor also adds some veteran experience and leadership to Baltimore’s young receiving room. His contributions to Philadelphia’s Super Bowl culture will also be important for Baltimore, who will be hoping to be contenders in the 2023 season.

Will Ravens Pursue More Wide Receivers?

The Agholor signing does not preclude Baltimore from making other moves at wide receiver. However, do not expect them to make too many ‘depth’ moves for rotational players. Any receiver acquired would need to be an upgrade for them. As such, Agholor’s signing puts the re-signing of DeMarcus Robinson into doubt.

The Ravens could still draft a top wideout. The receivers in this year’s draft are not as talented as the one’s in previous classes. However, there are still some gems to be uncovered. In Mike Kashuba’s post-free agency mock draft, the Ravens select Zay Flowers. He is one possibility, as is Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison and Jalin Hyatt. The team could also trade up from 22 to select Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

With that said, the Ravens have found little luck drafting receivers lately. Therefore, making a big-name signing or executing a trade might be best. Baltimore are still among the frontrunners for both DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr., making either receiver a possibility. Both would bear a significant cap hit, however, meaning Baltimore would likely need to find ways of freeing up cap space to accommodate for either receiver. If DeCosta is able to acquire Hopkins or Beckham Jr., the Baltimore receiver room would immediately leap to a new level.


Main Photo: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports


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