New England Patriots: 3 players who need their contracts reworked in 2022

New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
Nelson Agholor #15 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots restructure candidate No. 1: Nelson Agholor

Aside from Jonnu Smith, there isn’t a player on the roster earning more money than they should be than Nelson Agholor. The difference between the two; the Patriots have a number of different ways to get out of Agholor’s deal, while they are pretty much locked into their deal with Smith. With that in mind, Agholor is clearly the top restructure candidate on the Patriots roster, and he should be the first person the front office asks to take a pay cut this offseason.

Similar to most of the free agents signed last offseason, Agholor saw most of the money in his deal get pushed back to the 2022 season rather than the 2021 season. But with Agholor, there was a chance that his production could match the money he was set to be owed this season. The problem is, he didn’t do much of anything to earn the $14.8 million cap hit he is set to account for this upcoming season.

Agholor underwhelmed in his first season with the Patriots (37 REC, 473 YDS, 3 TD) and now his future with the team is somewhat in doubt. He doesn’t really fit the scheme the Patriots transitioned to when Mac Jones took over at quarterback, and he never really found a rhythm with Jones.

If Agholor doesn’t want a new deal, New England can get out of his deal a couple of different ways. They could just release Agholor outright and save nearly $5 million in cap space, although that would require the team taking on $10 million in dead money, which isn’t exactly ideal.

Next. The Patriots should absolutely not hire Adam Gase. dark

The more likely scenario would be trading Agholor to a wide receiver needy team. Agholor isn’t necessarily a bad wide receiver, but his chances of success in New England decreased dramatically when Jones was named the starting quarterback. A team with cap space and a need for pass catches could be willing to take on Agholor’s contact (maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars) in exchange for a late round draft pick, which would also save New England close to $10 million in cap space.

If Agholor wants to stick around, he needs to take a serious pay cut. His base salary is currently $9 million and he has a $5 million signing bonus, and both of those numbers would have to get chopped in half in order for a deal to even be considered. The Patriots need to get better at wide receiver, and it starts with weeding out some of the unnecessary players, which Agholor just happens to be at this point. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team moves on from him this offseason.