Eagles release Jason Avant

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The Eagles spent last week re-signing several of their pending free agents, including a pair of wide receivers.

This week brings the other side of the transaction wire. With Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin in the fold at receiver for 2014, Jason Avant won’t be. PFT has learned via a league source that the Eagles have released the veteran wideout.

The move was expected even before Cooper and Maclin had officially put pen to paper on new deals with the team. Avant was set to have a cap charge of nearly $4 million and had a $1 million roster bonus due in just under two weeks, which didn’t quite work for a 30-year-old receiver whose most frequently mentioned asset is his strong presence in the locker room. Releasing him clears $3.25 million in space for the Eagles to use going forward.

Avant had 38 catches for 447 yards and those character traits will likely help him get a look elsewhere at a price more in line with his on-field contributions. Avant played many years in Philly for Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and both of those teams are expected to wade into the receiver market at some point this offseason. Since he was cut, Avant can start looking for a new job right away.

UPDATE 11:25 a.m. ET: The Eagles have announced the transaction. In a statement, owner Jeffrey Lurie said “there have not been any players who’ve represented the Eagles with more class and dignity” than Avant did during his time with the team.

50 responses to “Eagles release Jason Avant

  1. Thank you Jason. You were the ultimate professional and one of the good guys. I wish you were 5 steps faster so you could have been an Eagle for life but thank you for your time. – Eagles Fan

  2. I always cheered for Avant. He was a sure thing on third down. He was a classy guy and I will surely miss seeing him on the field. Hope you do well with your next team, and I will always wish you well. This is the nature of the business. Good Luck Jason, You will be missed!
    -Eagle Fan

  3. Guy was a class act and a team player. Sorry to see him go, but he wasn’t the greatest receiver.

  4. Again, I hope Jason A knows that fans appreciated him as a player and a person.. make sure to show him that love through social media eagles fans!

  5. By all accounts, Avant is a good man. It’s a shame he didn’t have a little more football talent.

    Best of luck to him.

  6. He’ll get picked up quickly. He’s no burner…but he’s a chain mover. You need a 1st down he’s your guy. Great blocker in the run game as well. Would work well in KC and probably be the best one on that pathetic roster in NY (Jets).

  7. Thanks for your time in Philly Jason. You’ve had some amazing catches and are the class act. Wishing you all the best and we all know that whatever team you land on will be getting a great team member. You’ll always be an Eagle to us.

  8. Great guy, up until 2013 he was a serious asset on third down situations. I think his 2012 catch against Tampa is one of the better receptions I’ve seen in a few years. That said – he looked absolutely shot in 2013. Couldn’t shake one defender after the catch (never really could), but his hands also failed him in clutch situations. Hope he catches on somewhere else, but I doubt it. He’d make a great WR coach, and mentor in any locker room. I’d love to bring him back in that role if he finds opportunities elsewhere have dried up.

  9. During my time with the Eagles (former multimedia and internal video guy), he was one of the greatest individuals I ever had the pleasure of interacting with. Dude had super-glue hands, but more than that, his production off the field in the Philadelphia community, donating and being active in charities and taking an interest in the less fortunate was unrivaled by any other Birds player.

    Jason, I know you won’t see this, but that won’t stop me from saying it was an absolute pleasure knowing you, you gave the Eagles a good name, and I know you’ll catch on somewhere because of your passion and ability to lead, as well as your physical talents.

  10. Avant was a great player, and a strong presence in the locker room. He can definitely provide value to other teams looking for a solid slot receiver. I wouldn’t put it past Andy to pick him up March 11th.

  11. Sure-handed possession receivers are of value to many teams. I expect he’ll catch on somewhere and do well wherever that is.

  12. I’d expect the Pats to look into him if they can sign it to a team-friendly deal. He may not be as physically-talented they come, but he’s a reliable receiver with a strong locker room prescence that can tutor the younger guys. Probably what NE needs right now.

  13. Thank you, Jason. You were were great on and off the field. It really stinks this stuff has to happen. I know you’ll get the praise you’ve earned from the Eagle fans the next time you are there whether it’s an official retirement as a player or competing with another team.

  14. Nothing personal; however KC needs to get younger and draft and develop our own guys not pick up players who have sadly lost a step. I believe he’s a good guy but hope we draft our own guys.

  15. “whose most frequently mentioned asset is his strong presence in the locker room”,

    An asset a lot of teams need and more players should provide.

  16. Class act he might have been, without going into details. However, as a football player, as I’ve been stating the past 2-4 years, he isn’t the best, “Bang for the Buck.” Better to have Cooper, coming into his own, Jackson, if he’ll keep his mouth shut and playing ball and Macklin, depending on his rehabilitation status…. For the moment, “Good Move!”

  17. Looked like his teammates and coaches liked him, and looked up to him for leadership while he was on the team. Never got his name in the paper for doing anything wrong either. Those things will always be undervalued by us as fans, but it was nice having Avant as a member of the Eagles. He wasn’t the best WR, and last year didn’t showcase his great hands as much, but hopefully he has a few more solid years ahead of him.

  18. I guess I will need to retire my Avant jersey along with my Westbrook jersey…making room for my new Foles jersey!

  19. Any Eagles fan that is happy to see this guy go or says he can’t play obviously doesn’t study game tape. His hands are like glue (yes he had a few key drops last year) but normally as sure handed as they come. On 3rd down he is money. Willing to do anything you ask him to do, he would play center if you needed him to and he would give it his best and never give up till the final whistle blew. He is the biggest class act the Eagles had on the team. His off the field contributions to the league and the community are second to none (reminds me of Dawkins) He is pushing the “N” word penalty to help better the game and strengthen the community and cival rights. He has written the commissioner and nlfpa on other issues as well. He stands for what he believes in and helps others with theirs. He might not be Tim Tebow but his religion shapes his life and he is not afraid to share that and I respect that 100%. Jason Avant we thank you for your service and are saddened to see you go. May the next journey of your life be blessed and you will always be an Eagle in our hearts.

  20. His most memorable play as an Eagle, to me, was when he leveled DeOssie on DeSean’s punt return in 2010 and sprung him for the GW touchdown. Oh, and he also knocked himself unconcious on that play. Didn’t even get to see Jackson cross the goal line.

    That, ladies and gentleman, just about sums up exactly who Jason Avant is.

  21. I never post. But as a life long Eagle fan this man deserves it. Always thought of him and having the “best hands in the league” trustworthy no matter who the QB was. I will still shake my hands in the air after every catch he makes.

  22. The Eagles need a slot WR, That is where LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr meets their need. Beckham is one of the top receiver/returners in this season’s NFL Draft and could be a versatile player for the Eagles. As a junior, Beckham became dominant wide receiver. He had 53 receptions for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games. His season featured a three-touchdown performance against UAB and a 204-yard outing against Furman. Beckham averaged 8.4 yards per punt return and 26.4 yards on kick returns. He named a third-team AP All-American and a second-team All-SEC selection in his final season at LSU.
    Beckham has some of the best hands you will see at the college level. He literally catches everything. There are some guys that only make awesome catches or just make wide-open bombs, but this guy does it all. It does not matter if the pass is contested, as he will likely come down with it. He is 6-foot and 207 pounds, but plays bigger and is not afraid of contact at all.
    He has very good change of direction ability and has a shimmy to his shake. He runs very solid routes and can run every single one in the tree. He was used on reverses and ran well at LSU. He is a smart kick returner and does well on punt returns. He is a true offensive force on the field and score from anywhere. He is also is extremely good at jump balls for a guy of his size. Yep a Wes Walker Kind of guy!
    Jeff Janis’ 40-time will likely draw the most attention, he put up solid numbers across the board. In the bench press drill, his 20 reps was tied for fourth best at his position while a time of 6.64 seconds in the 3-cone drill was the third best time.
    Jeff Janis production on the field — 3,200 plus yards and 31 touchdowns — already had him as a projected fifth to seventh round draft pick, but his performance in Indianapolis will likely have him creeping up many team’s draft boards.
    My favorite, Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane – At a rock-solid 6-0, 197 pounds, Grant showed surprising burst, as well as the agility as a route-runner and reliable hands to out-play several more highly-touted pass-catchers. A long touchdown during Wednesday’s practice drew plenty of praise from scouts. – Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
    Strengths: Quick hands, smooth coordination and wins with timing and precision in his routes to create just enough room to work. Natural hands catcher.
    Weaknesses: Lacks preferred size and may be relegated to a slot role. This can be taught! Has the bad habit of not always securing the ball after the catch, leaving himself vulnerable to turnovers and unnecessary incompletion by not tucking it away.
    Kevin Norwood as the second- through fifth-best, respectively, Senior Bowl wide receivers. In the combine he proved he has a lot of speed and quickness, finishing in the top 5 in the 3 cone and WR drills. On Norwood, they wrote: “Kevin is a crafty receiver that uses his 10 1/8-inch hands to consistently grab the football out of the air even when defenders are close. He does not have the most compelling speed or quickness, but has a knack for getting himself open and making the contested catch.”
    For me he is the perfect slot and end zone pass catcher!

  23. thatsjustchipper says: Mar 4, 2014 4:19 PM

    His most memorable play as an Eagle, to me, was when he leveled DeOssie on DeSean’s punt return in 2010 and sprung him for the GW touchdown. Oh, and he also knocked himself unconcious on that play. Didn’t even get to see Jackson cross the goal line.

    That, ladies and gentleman, just about sums up exactly who Jason Avant is.

    I wish I could ‘like’ this comment 8,000,000,000 more times. Also, great username. #winning

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