WR Turner signed, Agholor eval on horizon
PHILADELPHIA >> Doug Pederson opened his day-after news conference with a statement that didn’t mention Nelson Agholor but had everything to do with the embattled wide receiver.
The Eagles signed Paul Turner, the darling of training camp, to the 53-man roster. He’d been on the practice squad.
To make room for the wide receiver, the Birds released defensive back Aaron Grymes, not Agholor, who basically stunk up CenturyLink Field Sunday in a 26-15 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
However the other shoe almost certainly will fall on Agholor later this week after he speaks with Pederson. Agholor essentially said he felt overwhelmed by football in remarks after the game.
Agholor’s performance Sunday was underwhelming as he caught one pass in 71 snaps, counting the two-point play he converted after a late TD, and committed an illegal formation penalty wiping out what would have been a Zach Ertz touchdown giving the Eagles the lead.
“I will definitely have a conversation with Nelson and I’ll address that as we get later in the week,” Pederson said. “Those are definitely concerns that I have, now that he’s come out and said that publicly. My concern is for him as an individual, as a person. I want to make sure he’s in a good spot. Hey, listen, put football aside, we all know about that. I want to make sure as a person he’s doing good. So we’ll have that conversation.”
The Eagles (5-5) don’t play again until next Monday when they entertain the Green Bay Packers (4-6), who have lost four straight games.
By then Pederson will know what he wants to do at wide receiver, the Birds having additional days to get over their fifth straight road loss.
Then again, the decision has all but been announced based on the developments. Pederson, players coach that he is, basically is giving Agholor a way out until the inevitable.
“I’m going to wait until after I talk with Nelson,” Pederson said. “I’m going to wait and see where we’re at during the week and make that decision later in the week. I just want to see where
Where the Eagles are at the wide receiver position is not good. The receivers didn’t get open until late in the game when the Seahawks conceded underneath throws in a prevent type of defense.
Though Jordan Matthews and Dorial Green-Beckham combined for 10 catches for 113 yards, almost all of it came with the Seahawks killing the clock.
Agholor didn’t catch a pass on three targets from scrimmage. One of those targets resulted in a drop while he was open downfield.
Agholor is fourth on the Eagles with 27 receptions and 264 receiving yards. It’s been almost all downhill for the 2015 firstround pick out of USC after he caught a 35-yard scoring pass to help beat the Cleveland Browns in the opener.
Agholor did himself no favors when he drew national attention
on the Eagles for behavior resulting in allegations he assaulted an exotic dancer in a South Philly gentlemen’s club. No charges were filed.
Agholor followed his big game in the opener with dropped passes, missed assignments and in the loss to the Lions, a failure to break up a deep ball thrown his way late in the game. It resulted in an interception sealing the game for the Lions.
It’s been such a tough season for Agholor that Pederson and the coaches have had to praise his blocking, more than his receiving ability.
“I think sometimes as athletes, you put so much pressure on yourself to perform,” Pederson said. “Then when it maybe doesn’t quite work out in your favor, the outside influences, i.e., the media and fans, put more pressure on you to perform because you’re a top pick and you need to perform.
All that pressure on a player is not good. So in Nelson’s case, sometimes like I mentioned, sometimes maybe you have to take a step back and maybe you have to see it differently and view it differently. These are all conversations that he and I will have this week.
“And again, the well being of the player and the person means more to me than as an athlete and receiver.”
Turner (5-10, 193) is an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana Tech who developed chemistry with Carson Wentz in their short time together in the preseason. Great hands. The question is whether he can get open regularly, a major issue for Agholor and his cohorts.
“We gave him some work last week in practice,” Pederson said. “We just feel this is a good opportunity right now, not only for us but for him to see where he’s at, see what he can do, and give him
For now, at least, Agholor can feel secure in the knowledge that he probably won’t be cut. The Eagles would have to absorb a salary cap charge of close to $7 million if they show him the door.
Privately there’s a belief within the organization that Agholor might be worth something in a trade after the season. After all, the Eagles believed Dorial GreenBeckham was worth an offensive lineman.
Just say it’s going to be interesting to see who gets the firstteam snaps when Agholor and the Eagles practice this Wednesday. Real interesting.
“We still have the four, and then we’ll interject Paul Turner,” Pederson said. “And much like we did last week, we just kind of got everybody equal opportunity in there. So Nelson will be a part of that, and then, again, I’ll evaluate it later in the week.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson talks things over with receiver Nelson Agholor prior to a preseason game against Tampa Bay in August.