Panthers add Jason Avant to rebuilt receiving corps

The Panthers might not have anything resembling a solid No. 1 wide receiver.

But they’re now closer to having an acceptable collection of No. 2s and No. 3s.

The team announced they had signed former Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant to a one-year deal.

He’ll pair up with Jerricho Cotchery as another guy who played a bit role for a team in the past, but will be counted on more heavily now.

The Panthers had nothing to speak of at the position after cutting Steve Smith and letting the rest of their wideouts walk into free agency.

Avant had 38 catches for 447 yards and two scores last year with the Eagles, but averaged 52 catches for 633 yards per year over the three that preceded Chip Kelly’s arrival in Philadelphia.

“We are happy to have Jason with the Panthers,” says head coach Ron Rivera. “He provides a versatile player at receiver and brings good size as well as experience to the position.”

Again, it’s not a signing on its own that will turn the Panthers around. But if they can put the right kids alongside him, it’s at least a positive step for Cam Newton.

39 responses to “Panthers add Jason Avant to rebuilt receiving corps

  1. I like this signing. The Panthers were a patchwork defense last year and that turned out well. I’m hoping a nice draft pick paired with these 2 will have the same results on offense in 2014.

  2. You know… they still have Olsen… he can be the #1 receiver even though he’s a TE. It can work. Saints did that last year with Graham. And Panthers do have a very good running game.

    But fact of the matter is they need Cam Newton to be 100% healthy to have a chance to be in the top 5 teams in NFL.

  3. They haven’t upgraded at the No. 1 position, but the guys they’ve signed are a collective upgrade over the other three.

  4. The Panthers obviously have something planned, but if I were a fan of theirs’ I would be pretty frustrated.

    All those years with Steve Smith and they never pair him with a true #2 WR. I still don’t know if they have a true 2nd WR, and now they don’t have a #1 now either.

    They need to keep building on Newton’s successful season, and if he regresses, because of the mess at WR I would assume changes would need to be made in Carolina.

  5. Avant has great hands but his YAC is non-existent. He’s a possession receiver and a great locker room guy but that’s about it.

  6. He’s an outstanding slot WR. He’s not going to outrun anyone…but he’ll catch anything thrown in his general vicinity…he’s a 1st down machine. He’s also a good locker room guy. Will he make or break your season? Absolutely not. But he’s definitely a good guy to have on the roster as a #3 or #4.

  7. You’ve got to be kidding me on the moves this team is making. This is why Carolina is still REDSKINS COUNTRY.!!!!!! How can anyone in that organization high five themselves over what they are doing. PATHETIC and I Just Shake My Head in Disbelief.

  8. Cam struggles to interpret NFL defenses. If the first read isn’t there, he takes off and runs. lol
    Atlanta for 2nd in the NFC South. The Saints 1st.

  9. I like this addition. Way more than Underwood! Between Avant and Cotchery, they have brought in positive leadership to the locker room, especially at the WR position. They’ll draft another WR in round 2 (I hope they don’t sell out to trade up) and close the OL gap in round 1. Let McNutt compete for a spot. He was drafted for a reason. But yea, Cam is probably at home thinking, “When will I get my ‘GUY’?” .. It kind of feels like McNabb and the Eagles all over again.

  10. Obviously the Panthers need much more than Avant in terms of weapons, but I think Avant still has a bit left in the tank. Either way, Panthers fans, you at least have a pure class act and great, selfless teammate on your roster now. He’ll show the youngins how to do it the right way.

  11. i love the critism from folks who didn’t willingly watch a single snap of a panthers game last season. last years wr corp was mediocre AT BEST. i like the additions. grabbing a solid guy in the first couple of rounds and it’ll instantly be an upgrade.

  12. Good signing.

    They basically traded Lafell for Cotchery, Ginn for Avant, and Underwood for Hixon.

    Am I crazy, but did the Panthers receiving core just get better from a year ago? (with the thought in mind of bringing in a 1st or 2nd round rookie wr as well).

  13. Good start for Panthers to rebuild their receiving corps. Avant is a solid hard working vet who will set a good example for some high draft pick receivers. Good move.

  14. This is one Gettleman couldn’t mess up. Good signing, with the learning curve for rookie WRs, it looks like the run game will play against an 8th player in the box.

    We will need to draft 2 WRs inside the first 4 rounds to get quality. There are many I like, but my sleeper should still be on the board at 28 and maybe even 56, is Clemson’s Martavis Bryant.

    From 12-4, I fear a setback, but hope the defense holds and a star is born on offense, to challenge in the NFCS. Right now it’s New Orleans and TB.

  15. As an Eagles fan, this guy won’t be burning any DBs anytime soon, but he’ll get open and has great hands. He’s a hard working guy and an incredible teammate who leads by example. I was sad to see him go. He’s not a starter by any means, but Carolina got a great pickup in this guy.

  16. Fans got to get over about steve smith .. we will miss his legacy and his leadership , he was loosing a touch , only 4 tds is gross , lafell sucked and tedd ginn wasnt worth the contract he wanted

  17. Listen. I realize every fan likes to justify the moves that their teams make but Avant is nothing more than a dime a dozen WR. He is NOT better than LaFell or Ginn. I’m sorry but I’m an Eagles fan and I love Avant for his good guy attitude but if he retired tomorrow no one would even blink an eye. The guy stinks. He makes a nice catch every once in a while but he’s never open past 8 yards. It’s comical reading all of the Panthers fans justified reasons why this is a good signing. The guy is a decent 4th WR. I’m not being an idiot, just speaking the truth.

  18. Last year for the Eagles he was the only player who throughout all of training camp did not drop a pass. Great hands, solid human being, positive influence on young players, and will catch anything thrown to him, every time. Sad to see him go.

  19. This will bring out the best in cam imo. Draft a cb/S in the 1st, grab your OL in the 2nd and snag a fresh legged young WR in the 3rd. With that rushing attack you just need a deep threat to open things up for the RBs and the possession wrs they’ve signed.

  20. Class act! The Panther fans will be as happy to have him as the Eagles fans were sorry to see him go.

  21. I’m very happy Avant gets to continue his career. He has lost a step and wasn’t very fast to begin with, but does have great hands. He also is a tremendous blocker. He’ll do whatever the team asks of him and he is a great person. Normally I don’t like seeing Eagles go to conference competition, especially when Carolina’s defense is as good as it is, but I’m just very happy Avant still gets to play.

  22. Jason Avant is way UNDER rated…he won’t blow the top off a defense, but he won’t drop passes and he finds the seems..he will move the chains, be a team leader in the locker room…he was regarded by many as one of the top slot WR’s in the league…he is still a top 10 slot guy..Good signing

  23. Good luck to you Jason, thanks for the memories with the Eagles. A reliable receiver and even better leader, good for teammates.

  24. This is a good signing. Do any of you still insisting the Panthers are going 4-12 watch any of our games? LaFell never eliminated his “hands of stone” reputation from LSU.

    I’ve liked Avant going back to his Michigan days. I like the idea of having a guy that when you throw it to him, he’s going to catch it. We never got that feeling from LaFell.

    Assuming DG plans on getting a super-speed guy in one of the first 3 picks, I would be comfortable with a WR group of the pick, Cotchery, Avant, Underwood and Greg Olsen.

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