With the Philadelphia Eagles 2013 season in the books, finishing with an impressive 10-6 regular season record which made the Birds the NFC East champion, the offseason is upon us which is an exciting time as fans begin to search who could help improve this roster.
But it also means that players whom we’ve enjoyed watching over the years could possibly but cut or traded.
Currently, the Eagles have four players who are on the salary-cap bubble per Phil Sheridan; (TE) Brent Celek, (LB) Trent Cole, (G) Todd Herremans, and (WR) Jason Avant. Sheridan continues that each player is “good enough to stay” and that “that, not their cap numbers, should be the deciding factor.”.
True enough. However, there is always one player who is axed to pave out a more team-friendly cap situation heading into the offseason. And among the top of our list is Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant who is owed $2.25 million for the 2014 season. He is also owed a $1 million bonus.
In Avant’s eight seasons in the NFL, all with the Eagles, he has become a physical receiver with excellent hands. His 297 receptions rank 11th in team history while his 3,646 receiving yards ranks 13th. But the stat that sticks out the most is his effectiveness on third downs.
Avant has converted 81 of 94 third-down plays into first downs.
Losing Avant would hurt in most any circumstance. However, with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin set to become free agents, Avant could find himself looking for a new home in 2014.
Cooper, as noted, emerged in 2013 to the tune of 835 receiving yards and eight TD’s in place of injured Jeremy Maclin. Cooper wants to return to Philly and will likely be re-signed quickly by Philadelphia.
Maclin, who also wants to return to Philly and understands that it could take a one-year deal to do so, was QB Nick Foles top target in 2012 when he was filling in for Michael Vick. I have a growing feeling that Chip Kelly would like to get both Maclin and Cooper under contract, and re-work DeSean Jackson‘s contract for possibly more guaranteed money.
It is unconventional to think that all three players, Maclin, Cooper and Jackson, would return in 2014. But the injection of Chip Kelly’s offensive system combined with the Eagles 2013 success, each may be willing to take less pay if it means a greater opportunity for success in 2014.
That’s where Jason Avant’s figures come in to play.
If the Eagles bring the younger trio back they will need to find some areas to ease the cap situation and Avant is a perfect target. But more than just cap number’s and money.
There will be a very crowded situation at the receiver position if Maclin, Cooper get resigned. Jackson isn’t going anywhere regardless. So in order to get playing time it will be in Avant’s best interest to seek a trade.
There are plenty of teams in the league who could use a reliable slot receiver who’s contract isn’t extreme by any measures.