The Eagles have been busy in recent days by taking care of their own players. The team handed out contract extension to Jason Peters and Jason Kelce and re-signed Riley Cooper to a new deal. But as some players have their futures with the Eagles are extended, others are about to come to an end.
ESPN Insider Adam Caplan has indicated that the Eagles are expected to release wide receiver Jason Avant before his roster bonus is due next month. The Eagles officially have until March 15, which is only a few days after the new league year starts, to make a call on Avant. Earlier this week, Jeff McLane also reported Avant will likely be released soon. No word yet on when the transaction will officially take place.
As @Jeff_McLane noted last week, the #Eagles are expected to release WR Jason Avant before his $1 M roster bonus is due next month.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 27, 2014
Avant's role decreased quite a bit last season, so the move isn't exactly a surprise. He's one of the classiest players from the Reid era.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 27, 2014
Avant's $1M roster bonus is due on 3/15. They'll save $3.25 M once he's released.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 28, 2014
Avant, who's spent eight years on the roster, struggled to make a significant impact in 2013. His lack of YAC ability limited the Eagles offense at times. Despite his shortcomings on the field, Avant was critical off of it. Avant was a leader and role model in the locker room. As Howie Roseman noted at the 2014 NFL Combine, however, "leadership comes by being able to be on field and play a great amount. [It's] hard to be a great leader [...] if you're not contributing."
It's not always easy to see one of the good guys like Avant leave, but it's a harsh reminder that the NFL is a business. Cutting Avant will free up a roster spot for a potentially more productive player and also save the Eagles some cap space. It's ultimately in the team's best interest.
Avant will likely find a job with one of the other 31 NFL teams. Perhaps a reunion with former head coach Andy Reid in Kansas City is in store.