The New England Patriots, led by esteemed head coach Bill Belichick, were one of the most surprising teams in the NFL during the 2021 season. With rookie quarterback Mac Jones under center, the Pats snuck into the playoffs as a wild card team in the AFC, although they were promptly blown out by the Buffalo Bills.

Either way, there are a lot of reasons for optimism heading into the 2022 season. Many of the players from the 2021 squad will be returning for the 2022 campaign, and Jones figures to lead New England’s offense to new heights this season.

One player who will need to step up if the Patriots want to improve offensively, though, is wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Agholor was a free agent signing during the 2021 NFL offseason, and he posted a fairly disappointing 2021 season as a whole (37 REC, 473 YDS, 3 TD).

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Many expected Agholor to be a potential cut candidate heading into training camp, but Bill Belichick’s recent comments signal that that may not be the case. Belichick said that Aghlolor has made “a big jump” from his first season in New England to his second, which certainly caught the attention of Patriots fans everywhere.

“A big jump. A big jump. He was here all offseason, had a really good offseason. He’s productive. He had a really good spring of training. He came out here, made plays down the field, which is very important, but he’s also playing well in other areas. Very few mental errors. I think he’s looked good.” – Bill Belichick, Pro Football Talk

Agholor’s initial season with the Pats was certainly disappointing, but Bill Belichick’s recent comments show that not all may be lost for Agholor and his time with New England. He still has to prove it once the regular season starts, but there’s some optimism surrounding Agholor’s 2022 season thanks to Belichick now.