Speaking of leaders, the Eagles are expected to lose one in Jason Avant. The eight-year veteran’s presence was perhaps most felt in the receiver room, especially after long-time assistant coach David Culley left and followed Andy Reid to Kansas City. Many of the receivers looked at Culley as a father figure and respected him immensely. Avant helped fill that void and kept the group together after videotape of Riley Cooper using a racial slur surfaced in August. New receivers coach Bob Bicknell is in many ways the polar opposite of the free-spirited Culley. Avant often acted as a go-between the intense assistant and DeSean Jackson. The star receiver got into it with Bicknell on the sideline during the Vikings game, but it was hardly the lone time those two had a disagreement.
Avant saw his production dip with the installation of Chip Kelly’s new offense in Philadelphia, hauling in just 43 passes for 468 yards and two touchdowns. PFF graded Avant as a -6 receiver in the passing game, down from the +7.7 he earned in Reid’s final season.
His leadership, however, was a big key in the Eagles’ locker room as you can read from the clip above. Between his relationship with Culley, Reid and the offense, and the likelihood the Chiefs will be bringing in at least one young wide receiver from the draft or undrafted free agency, it would make a ton of sense to add Avant to the team.
Kansas City’s wide receiver problem has as much to do with depth as it does talent. And with Dexter McCluster likely lost to free agency, the depth problem is only going to get worse. Heading into the season with two known productive receivers in Avant and Dwayne Bowe, with Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins pushed back into more reasonable roles could be a very useful thing for the Chiefs. Add in a young wide receiver prospect and the Chiefs’ passing game looks much improved.
What do you think? Should the Chiefs take a long look at Avant if he is indeed released?