Mar 4 2014, 8:40pm CST | by Poch de la Rosa
"There have not been any players who have represented the Philadelphia Eagles with more class and dignity than Jason Avant. Whether it was in the locker room, on the playing field or in the community, he has always been a true professional, a role model and a winner every step of the way.
For his part, Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman said the decision to release Avant was anything but easy.
"There's not question that releasing a player like Jason is one of the toughest parts of the job. It's a tough day when you have to say goodbye to a player who you have so much respect for. I can't thank him enough for the leadership, the big plays and the positive impression he made on so many of his teammates."
On the other hand, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly hailed Avant as a true professional.
"In the year I spent with Jason, he was unbelievable in terms of his work ethic and his selfless nature. He was a great teammate. We know he will have a chance to sign with another team and by releasing him now, he will have a full offseason to make the necessary adjustments.
"I had a chance to speak with him today and he handled himself like the true professional he is."
Dave Spadaro of The Eagle's official website chimed in on the development, saying Avant was admirable off the field just as he was on it.
"Avant goes down in this book as of the Eagles to cherish. Not just for what he is as just a football player -- a fourth-round draft pick who has neither extraordinarily speed nor unusual size, but who just played outstanding football for eight seasons here -- but for what he is as a man.
"Avant emerged from a dark childhood rife with gangs, drugs and violence to devote his life to Jesus Christ. He lives the Word every day and exudes a goodness that lights up a room. There are few who have graced any Eagles locker room with the depth of goodness and devotion of Avant. Good luck to him in his NFL future off the field."
In spite of his release, Avant said he will always be an Eagle. He tweeted,"No matter what I will always #bleedgreen."
Philly.com's Les Bowen stresses Avant, who had spent his entire eight-year NFL career in Philadelphia, "was due a $1 million roster bonus soon." He had a cap hit of $3.96 million for the 2014 NFL season.
A March 4 ESPN update points out the development comes less than a week after the Eagles fortified their receiving corps for 2014 by signing Riley Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract and Jeremy Maclin to a one-year, $6 million deal.
Avant, Philadelphia's fourth-round selection in the 2006 NFL draft out of Michigan, has amassed 3,646 yards and 12 touchdowns on 297 receptions.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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