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Monday, April 7, 2014

Jason Avant Hosted By Panthers, Monday

Former Eagles WR Jason Avant is apparently going to be in Charlotte Monday, visiting the same day as former Falcons FS Thomas Decoud.

Avant, a posession receiver, is 31.  Without imposing characteristics, the 6', 215 lb Avant is widely heralded as a good guy in the locker room, and while not a game breaker, the type that will get you the yards you need.  Which, honestly, sounds like a two year younger Jerricho Cotchery with even more character.

Avant was cut by the Eagles before Desean Jackson was, and while Jackson's departure came after various rumors, a trade suggestion, and then finally leaked rumors that there were gang ties, Avant was released amidst effusive praise and honor from his team.  A quick check of the internet suggests that continued to happen up to now, from former teammates and fans.

Avant came into the news a few days ago, with whispers from the Chiefs camp suggesting they'd look at him after the draft.  Detroit Free Press writer Josh Hencke suggested on the 4th that Avant had "three offers" and wouldn't be out of work long.

While he does duplicate a bit of what Cotchery does, he does seem overall to do it better. For various reasons, including playing on a team with potentially the best back in football right now, Avant hasn't been in the endzone much; he had two on 38 catches last year, none the year before, and one each in the two prior (that three year span, Avant was averaging 52 catches a year and 12 ypc).  He's sure handed, good intermediately, and like Cotchery, the type that's probably going to get you that first down you need on third and 6, the team's MO the last 24 or so games.

I like the possible move.  It leaves Carolina potentially leaning toward an OT pick, and possibly not needing a WR move at all, early in the draft based on need.  Since Dave Gettleman picks based on a best-player philosophy, it might be smart to make this move.

There's not a lot left in free agency past Avant, most notably the temporarily injured (like Miles Austin) or the chronically injured (Sidney Rice).  Avant isn't as explosive as either, but he's generally present, and he does what you expect him to do.  Assuming Carolina is anticipating spending more time winning time of possession than the scoring title, it should be a good fit if he signs.
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