Goodbye to a Good Guy

Posted: March 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 45 Comments »

The Eagles have released Jason Avant.

We knew this was going to happen. Avant is getting older and simply no longer fits what the Eagles are looking for on the field. Off the field, Jason Avant is everything any NFL team would want. He doesn’t get in trouble. He is a leader that understands you can get the job done leading by example or talking to your teammates. Too often in sports, volume is mistaken for leadership. That’s not the case with Avant.

I’m going to miss Avant making clutch catches and blocking for others. He still has some of the best hands in the NFL. Avant made his share of memorable catches over the years. He could go up and get the ball or pluck it just above ground level. He could extend with 2 hands and snare the ball or reach out desperately with one hand and make a phenomenal circus catch.

Avant really shined as a blocker in 2013. The Eagles led the NFL in rushing and piled up a ton of RAC yards in the passing game. Avant had a hand in many of those yards. Some receivers don’t function well when the ball isn’t in their hands. Avant took care of business. He didn’t care if he was blocking a LB, S or CB. Avant was going to go hit someone and do his part to spring a teammate for a big gain.

Arguably the best compliment you can give an athlete is to say that he made the others around him better. Jason Avant did that on and off the field. He was a terrific player and I’m going to miss him.

* * * * *

Avant will catch on with some team that uses the slot receiver in a more conventional way. He still has good short area quickness and runs excellent routes. Avant can get open and catch the ball. The problem is that he’s slow and isn’t much of a playmaker. Even if you get him the ball in space, he’s not going to make a play most of the time.

I’d love to see him go to KC and be reunited with Big Red or to go to a top contender. Avant is one of those guys you would love to see get a Super Bowl ring.

* * * * *

Just for fun, here is my pre-draft write-up on Jason.

Excellent college player. Jason makes big catches and is very good in the Red Zone. Always seems to deliver in clutch situations. Nice size and good hands. Can make tough catches. Works the middle of the field well. Can adjust to poorly thrown balls. I don’t see a whole lot of athletic ability. Lacks top end speed and getting seperation in the NFL will be tough. Can take big shots. Hands catcher. Will run guys over, but lacks top speed. 2 time Big Ten All Academic. Catches a lot of 3rd down passes and balls in the Red Zone. Runs very good routes. Sells fakes well. On one play vs OSU, shuffled his feet prior to running a slant and got CB Ashton Youboty so off-balance that he fell down.

Jason is the most polished WR in the whole Draft. Could be an excellent #3 type WR. Despite the lack of pure speed and athleticism, Jason could develop into a solid starter in the right system. He knows how to get open and has excellent hands.

He pretty much became in the NFL what he was in college. The one big difference…the Red Zone. Jason never became much of a RZ threat in the NFL. I think part of that was on Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid. AR called some strange pass plays in the RZ and Donovan struggled with throwing the ball to players in traffic over the years. Had Avant played in a different offense or with a different QB, he might have been more productive in the RZ as a pro.

* * * * *

Here is the story with some official quotes.


45 Comments on “Goodbye to a Good Guy”

  1. 1 Media Mike said at 7:32 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Well stated. Good luck with your next squad Avant! I’m also happy that Avant played long enough to fully vest in the NFL pension system.

  2. 2 BreakinAnklez said at 12:05 PM on March 6th, 2014:

    3 years 3 games…

  3. 3 Insomniac said at 7:33 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Like a number of fans mentioned before, Avant will always be welcomed back here as a coach. He could ask Duce about the process and *coughreplace* assist Bicknell.

  4. 4 GermanEagle said at 7:34 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Thanks in A(d)vants for the memories!

  5. 5 knighn said at 7:44 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    You basically said it all, Tommy. Looking over at Avant’s Eagle career, I couldn’t figure out how a guy who was so clutch on 3rd down didn’t have more than 12 TDs in 8 years (or only 1.5 TDs / year). Perfect explanation. I also share your opinion on the word “great”. In my mind, little quirks like the above will always relegate Andy Reid to being a “very good” coach instead of a “great” one.

  6. 6 Media Mike said at 7:53 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Browner just got reinstated by the NFL! Shocking that a suspension issued as a result of a missed drug tests when he was employed by another league weren’t going to hold up in court.

    I’m curious as to where he winds up.

  7. 7 GermanEagle said at 7:57 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    I’m curious as to where he winds up

    Mmmmh, Seahawks maybe…?!

  8. 8 Media Mike said at 7:58 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Free agent, they have young guys they like, they won a title without him, and have other signings to make.

  9. 9 Cliff said at 8:26 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Heck yes! Hadn’t thought about it before but I hope he hooks up with Big Red in KC. That just feels better than Avant signing with Tampa Bay or the Browns or some crap team and having a miserable final few seasons.

  10. 10 Yuri said at 9:02 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    In a hypothetical world, where Maclin does not get injured in preseason, would Avant have played for 2013 Eagles? Assuming Salas and Shepard still get cut, who would not have been selected among (pre-2013 season and post racial incident) Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and Jeff Maehl?

  11. 11 ICDogg said at 12:12 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Probably Maehl, possibly D. Johnson. Avant would not have been cast off. His role would likely have been reduced, but he is a guy worth having around, unless (like now) there is a financial reason to let him go (upcoming bonus).

  12. 12 iceberg584 said at 9:37 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Somewhat ironically (given his skillset), my favorite Jason Avant play was his catch-and-run conversion on a 3rd-and-20 in the second half of the Eagles’ last playoff win (Jan. 2009 in the Meadowlands). He knew exactly how much yardage he needed, and despite the lack of top-end speed, he made sure he got there. The Eagles were trailing at the time, but went on to get a field goal on the drive to take a lead they never relinquished.

  13. 13 A_T_G said at 10:04 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Avant has demonstrated he understands how to maximize ability, the importance of hard work, how to lead, and putting the team first. He has all the marks of a first rate future coach. I hope it is with us.

  14. 14 Mac said at 10:07 PM on March 4th, 2014:


  15. 15 Jerry Pomroy said at 11:03 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    I’ll piggy back on Mac…make that a double.

  16. 16 McNabbulousness said at 10:07 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    i’ll always remember him for the key block that sprung djax for that miracle at the meadowlands return (he destroyed that guy!). good luck avant, thx for the memories

  17. 17 laeagle said at 10:12 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    I was about to write the same thing. I think he got knocked out on that play, if I recall correctly, or at least got his own bell rung. Talk about sacrificing yourself for the team.

  18. 18 Vick or Nick said at 10:14 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    More appropriate spot for my last comment:

    Sad to see Jason Avant go.

    Class personified. A pro’s pro. Pick your cliche catch phrase for how to act as a professional, gave it everything and then some.

    I will def remember his highlight catches on 3rd and long. He brought fans to their feet.

    Looking forward I see three potential landing spots for Avant:

    1. Kansas City- reunite with Andy

    2. Jets- reunite with Marty

    And my sleeper pick:

    3. Patriots: He will sign cheap/patriots type contract. He runs great routes and is a reliable catcher. With Brady throwing him the ball, Jason could easily go for 80-90 catches and a 1,000 yards.

    Biggest reason tho? BiliCHEAT will love to get the inside scoop of Kelly’s secret methods.

    Avants biggest obstacle wasn’t necessarily physical, he just didn’t get the ball thrown his way very often. Of course when he did, he almost always made the catch.

  19. 19 Matt and Kari Verhoog said at 10:31 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    I was wondering why the Pat’s didn’t try to trade for him last year.Seems like the kind of Vet that Belicheck likes.

  20. 20 Vick or Nick said at 10:27 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    “Could I have done more? Probably. But I loved doing it because it was going to help the team, help the city, help the team win.” – Jason Avant.

    Whatever it takes to win. You will be missed.

  21. 21 Sifter said at 10:34 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Forgive my ignorance on the subject, but this release is purely financial right? If Avant re-signed for less wouldn’t he have a decent shot at making the roster? Even if he wasn’t likely to make the final cut, he would at very least provide competition to any draftees and Arrelious Benn et al in camp, as well as adding that veteran professionalism.

  22. 22 D3FB said at 11:34 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    He probably is a significant contributor on other rosters where as he would be fighting for reps here.

  23. 23 A_T_G said at 5:58 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    The timing was more of a professional courtesy than anything else. My bet is that the move is more related to the 53-man cap than the financial one. I am betting that if Avant wasn’t counted in the 53-man roster they would gladly pay him.

  24. 24 GEAGLE said at 7:05 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Professional courtesy is true but don’t tell the entire story, we saved a one mil roster bonus..think Avant would have prefered us curteously waiting a few more days to cut him to collect that bonus

  25. 25 A_T_G said at 7:13 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Well, sure, the team does still need to run its business. Getting released now gives him a better chance to earn a million somewhere else this year, though.

  26. 26 Anders said at 7:17 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    It is finacial vs production. If he was still producing, he would have stayed

  27. 27 eagleyankfan said at 7:39 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Financial after all that money they just spent? I think T-law said it best — he’s not a play maker. Chip’s offense requires a different set of skills than what Avant has to offer. Doesn’t mean Avant is bad – he’s just not what Chip wants right now. AND he’s getting older/slower….

  28. 28 Insomniac said at 11:06 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    So when is Damaris going to be cut? After the draft?

  29. 29 GEAGLE said at 7:08 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Yesterday would have worked for me

  30. 30 Anders said at 7:16 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    yea lets cut a player who is not counting on the cap right now, knows the offense and has potential to be a good 4th WR for us next year

  31. 31 eagleyankfan said at 7:35 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Wasn’t he suppose to be that potential last year? He was very disappointing IMHO. I hope you’re right.

  32. 32 Anders said at 7:39 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    still we safe nothing by cutting him, so even if he is a camp body, we lose nothing.

  33. 33 eagleyankfan said at 7:40 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    and there’s the chance he’s matured as a player and can contribute. It’s win/win for the Eagles….

  34. 34 Insomniac said at 5:26 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    If he knew the offense then he would have been on the field. He can’t block nor is he a good return specialist. I’d take whoever Chip wants as a WR on the roster than Damaris any day. He’s done.

  35. 35 Anders said at 3:32 AM on March 6th, 2014:

    We will need around 10 wrs in camp, why cut him before that when he ain’t counting on the cap?

  36. 36 Pennguino said at 11:20 PM on March 4th, 2014:

    Well put Tommy. I am going to miss Jason. Hopefully he ends up in a great situation and moves on to assist Troy Vincent

  37. 37 GermanEagle said at 5:30 AM on March 5th, 2014:


    I think our friend Mr. Bama is obsessed with his crazy idea that Desean won’t be in Philly any longer following his retweet… Lol

  38. 38 nathalie a said at 5:51 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    a super bowl ring ??? i like the guy, but i’ll be damned if i cheer for him to get a ring before his former teammates do. arghh.

  39. 39 nathalie a said at 5:55 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    it’s so bizarre this old affection that thomas seems to have maintained towards andy. i thought it would be my case as well, then i found myself horribly bitter and acrid about his success last season. it’s even worse than not caring. it’s almost wishing him no success.

    i’m a meanie !!!!!

  40. 40 A_T_G said at 8:26 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    It is like a relationship breaking up in a healthy way: one wants their ex to be happy and successful in the long run, just not more so or more quickly than you.

  41. 41 GEAGLE said at 7:07 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    Class act, one of the good guys…sad day but Avant will be fine. He will playa. Few more years and have all sorts of career opportunities back in philly when he retires as an eagle

  42. 42 eagleyankfan said at 7:34 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    He’ll go somewhere — and make that one critical catch on a 3rd and long that gets the team into the championship. I wish him success but no SB ring. 🙂

  43. 43 eagleyankfan said at 7:32 AM on March 5th, 2014:

    You write all that and than say “The problem is that he’s slow and isn’t much of a playmaker.”
    Let’s not get carried away — he was ok — at best. The blocking will be missed(but easily replaced) but you can’t be effective in this offense as a WR by blocking alone.
    Out with the old, in with the new.

  44. 44 ChaosOnion said at 12:47 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Good luck at the next stop, Jason Avant!

  45. 45 Zachary Kahn said at 2:33 PM on March 5th, 2014:

    Amazingly accurate scouting report Tommy. Hence why I trust your opinions on players over others.