The Kansas City Chiefs signed wide receiver Jason Avant over the weekend. Avant was with Andy Reid and the Eagles from 2006 on before joining the Carolina Panthers this season. To understand who Avant is I talked with our Eagles blog, Bleeding Green Nation, and our Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader.
1. What role did Avant play for the Eagles under Andy Reid? Was it the slot?
Bleeding Green Nation: Yes. "Prototypical slot receiver" is how Andy Reid would describe him. Avant just doesn't have the speed to play on the outside.
2. What's the best skill set that Avant brings? His hands, route running, reliability, good locker room guy?
Bleeding Green Nation: His route-running is definitely his best skill set. His hands were really good at one point but it seemed like he dropped more passes in the last years of his tenure in Philly. Definitely a good locker room guy. Also contributes as a blocker in the run game.
3. Is it reasonable to think Avant knows Reid's offense well enough that he can come in Week 13 and contribute?
Bleeding Green Nation: Probably. Or if he doesn't, I wouldn't imagine it would take long for him to get adjusted. I wouldn't expect a lot out of JA because I think he's near toast. He can make a solid catch here and there but he just has very little YAC ability. He was really bad in Philly last season. Here's hoping he turns it around in KC though.
4. Why was Avant released from the Panthers?
Cat Scratch Reader: The reason for Jason Avant's release will vary depending on who you ask. The organization said he was let go because the team wanted to open up more opportunities for undrafted free agent Philly Brown, who's shown flashes over the past few weeks. More cynical fans believe Avant was jettisoned because he spoke out against the team's offensive playcalling following last week's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Ultimately the real reason is likely somewhere in the middle. He was signed as an insurance policy in case Kelvin Benjamin wasn't ready to start, and the team hoped Avant could be a leader in the locker room. Neither of these came to pass, so it's time to give young guys opportunities.
5. What was your impression of him in Carolina?
Cat Scratch Reader: Avant was a hard-working, but unspectacular receiver in Carolina. That sounds like harsh, but he didn't really make any big plays or stretch the field. What he did do, however, was provide a reliable fourth receiving option on a team that drops too many passes. He works well in short spaces and has good hands in those third and short situations. The Panthers moved him around a little, but he predominantly took his snaps from the slot.