Head coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman explained how important wide receiver Jason Avant is to this football team and why they thought it was a priority to get him re-signed. The 26-year-old Avant agreed to terms on a five-year deal Monday. Avant was a restricted free agent.
"Jason Avant has developed into one of our most dependable and productive players on offense," said Reid. "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."
Said Roseman, "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."
A physical and sure-handed receiver, the 6-0, 212-pound Avant set career highs in receptions (41), yards (587) and touchdowns (3) in 2009. A reliable target with a penchant for making clutch catches, Avant has been especially proficient on third downs over the course of his career, converting 32 of his 37 third-down receptions for first downs (86.5 percent).
Originally a fourth round draft choice of the Eagles in 2006, Avant's reception and yardage totals have increased in each of his first four seasons (7-68 in 2006, 23-267 in 2007, 32-377 in 2008, and 41-587 in 2009). For his career, he has appeared in 54 games (23 starts), posting 103 catches for 1,299 yards and eight touchdowns. He has also recorded 24 career special teams tackles.
A two-time Biletnikoff Award candidate as the nation's top college receiver from 2004-05, Avant finished his Michigan career ranked third on the school's all-time list with 169 receptions. He was named the team's MVP as a senior in 2005 after posting 82 catches for 1,007 yards and eight touchdowns.
Avant earned All-America honors as a wide receiver and safety at Carver High School in Chicago, IL, where he set school records for receptions (148), yards (2,150), touchdowns (37) and interceptions (18). The two-sport star also excelled in basketball and helped lead his team to the Elite 8 of the Chicago Public School playoffs.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:12 p.m., March 8