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Avant Gets 5-Year Deal

Avant Agrees to 5-Year Deal
By Lance Epstein

The man that seems to be McNabb's safety blanket on third down has signed on for five more years. Slot receiver Jason Avant has agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

Avant was drafted out of Michigan in fourth-round of the 2006 NFL draft. In his short career with the Eagles, Avant has grabbed 103 catches and eight touchdowns.

More impressively, he has 37 receptions have come on third down and 32 receptions have gone for first downs, which equates to 31 percent of his career catches.

In 2009, Avant had a career season as he caught 41 passes for 587 yards and 3 touchdowns. While he may not be as well-know as wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson, but he is one of the best slot receivers in the league due to his toughness, soft hands and route running.

It is nice to see the Eagles locking up their young trio of wide receivers for the next couple of years. With Avant back in the fold, the young trio gives McNabb or Kolb the weapons to be effective. In actuality bringing Avant back might gives the Eagles' one of the top wide receiving corps in the league, if not the best.

Quotes from the Press conference:

Avant very grateful for all those who helped him get there:

"It's a privilege to be up here at this moment with a new contract and I really realize that it's not about me. I give credit the most to Jesus Christ for just changing my life around. I just thank him for everything. I give thanks to my family, my wife Stacy, cousins and everyone, grandmother who's smiling down on me even now for praying for me to even be in a situation like this. I also want to thank the Eagles organization for taking a chance on me. Those people, Mr. Lurie, Mr. Banner and Howie Roseman and Coach Reid ... they were in a tough position because I didn't run the best 40 time and it was kind of looked down upon at that time and they took a chance on me and I really am thankful for that. Hopefully I can continue to have success in this league and I'm just thankful for them.
"I'm thankful for my teammates, Donovan who has been leading me and showing me the ropes here for a while. My other teammates, the receivers. I know I wouldn't be in this position if it weren't for, you know, the DeSean Jacksons and even going back to Greg Lewis and all those guys, the Dawkins' and the Westbrooks that have been really influential. I realize that it's not all about me and I'm thankful for this moment."

Avant on the city of Philadelphia and the fans:

"I love the city, I love the team, I love the mindset of the coaches here and I didn't really want to have to go to a place besides Philadelphia. I'm just thankful because I know the city of Philadelphia, they thrive on hard work and that's the team that we have and I'm just thankful to be part of a city like that ... it's a gritty city and I think that's the type of guys that we have in the locker room and I think the management recognizes that. I think that when you find a place that's good for you and the people that are good, I think it's more important to be around rather than money."

On being the slot receiver:

"I think it has something to do with not considering yourself as too good to do things. I think I'm thankful to be in this position. When I play the game of football - this is just true, this is from my heart - it's not something where I want to go out and get all the catches and I'm just thankful to be out there on the field each moment. I come from a place where people were getting shot in the streets and I know that could have been me. So for me to come out and play the game of football, it makes no sense to me to go out and want all the accolades and the credit, I'm just thankful being out there."

On Working hard and having such great hands:

"Well I think that Celek has the best hands first of all, he catches pretty naturally. I think it's something that's God-given in terms of natural hands. A lot of guys have natural hands but then there's something that you have to do. Like you can give DeSean his speed, but he had to do something in order to constantly get better at it, running track and those types of things. And I think that being on the Jugs machine and going out to Arizona (for summer workouts), constantly focusing on tennis balls and stuff when I'm around my house, trying to catch everything when I get a chance, I think those types of things help."
"You don't want to get to a place where you're content in this game as far as working hard ... I realize that there are guys that are coming in and out of this league each day and one thing that I'm going to do is put myself in the best position to stay here. I like being here so whatever I need to do to be the best player I can, that's what I'm going to do."

Andy Reid on Jason Avant and his value to the team:

"Jason Avant has developed into one of our most dependable and productive players on offense. He's physical, he's tough and he has the respect of all of his teammates. Jason plays the game of football the right way; he competes on a daily basis, whether it's in the game or in practice. He is also what I consider a person with high character and he's a guy that I like to think younger players have and will continue to learn from. Jason is a devoted man in the community and gives a great deal of time helping others. We're glad to have him back in Philadelphia for the next five seasons."

GM Howie Roseman on Jason Avant:

"Jason is an important component of our offense and we're glad to get him signed to a long-term contract today. I really admire his approach to the game of football and his approach to life in general. He's an extremely hard worker, yet he's very humble. Plus, he's a extremely tough competitor on the field. I'm glad he'll be a Philadelphia Eagle for the long haul."

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