Avant ‘Shocked’ By Parts Of Wells Report

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

Yesterday, we noted that Jason Avant was one of the players who recently spoke with commissioner Roger Goodell about locker room guidelines in the wake of what happened in Miami.

Today, he penned a piece for The MMQB and expanded on what he told Goodell.

Two parts in the column pertained specifically to the Eagles. Avant described the Dolphins’ locker room as “atypical” and said he was “shocked” by some of what he read:

There were parts of the Wells report that shocked me, especially the language that was used openly among some of the guys. I’ve heard the ‘n’ word used among African Americans, and I even find that completely unacceptable. But I’ve never heard racial slurs used so openly and so freely. The joke about shooting black people was hard to digest, and I couldn’t believe the fines the Dolphins linemen handed out. Hazing, to some extent, happens everywhere. For example, with our team, rookies are in charge of buying chicken or barbeque before road trips. The total cost is something like $100.

Avant also stressed the importance of leadership and tone-setters:

The spirit of Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook and Troy Vincent live on. Their names are mentioned a lot in organizational meetings, and Dawkins can come speak to the team any time he wants. We also have an owner, Jeffrey Lurie, who is hands-on and cordial; he has lunch with some players, and always discusses the mindset and the standards that those earlier guys raised—and I think that standard is extremely important. Why? Look at what happened this season with one of our receivers, Riley Cooper, who was caught on video using the ‘n’ word at a concert. That incident had the potential to divide us. Instead, because of strong team leadership, we worked through the issue together; we forgave Riley and we we able to grow, both as a team and as individuals—Riley included.

Several members of the Eagles’ organization spoke with pride this season about how the team was able to get through the Cooper situation and have a successful season, so it’s no surprise that Avant made that reference. And he led the charge during that tumultuous time.

Click here to read the entire column, which is worth your time.

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    This dolphins story will never go away…..sigh

    • Bdawkbdawk

      It’s an important story. It should get coverage until the problem is dissected and checks are put into place so that this does not happen again. Especially with the emergence of CTE and other NFL health/emotional hazards. I admire Avant and his take on this although I don’t like the “NFL can be a parent” metaphor. Wishing that these issues will just go away hasn’t served us well in the past.

      • GEAGLE

        Wtf is their to talk about? I think it’s pretty clear that this is disgusting behavior that can’t be tolerated..it wasn’t swept under the rug, it’s being addressed and it’s not an issue in philly….so excuse me! but I can’t wait til I don’t have to hear about any of these scumbags any more. I don’t need to read about this story for 3 months to learn right from wrong……

        Yesterday it was a cool story about Avant advising Goodell on the matter.
        I think Ritchie is a scumbag
        Jon jerry is a talentless dirtbag
        Pouncy has been an IDIOT since the Hernandez story, and it’s a joke that Miami is keeping him because he is talented. If they had balls they would cut him too..
        Martin is too weak and too sensitive to play NFL football
        The TE coach is another disgusting piece of trash

        The sooner all these scumbag dirt balls are out of my brain space the better

        • reb

          You’re fooling yourself if you think that the Miami thing is a one-of-a-kind and that somebody hasn’t tried to sweep it under a rug. It happened not because the team didn’t know about it, but because they chose to sweep it under the rug. This is just the worst case and it hit the media. Avant is right, you’re going to continue to get this crap until the NFL does more about it. Come on, this year’s Eagles locker room sounds like it was great, but even last year with people like DRC and Babin, it wasn’t. Plus, the TO experience shows the team wide impact one jerk can have. It’s not going to go away because it’s still there, just quiet.

          • GEAGLE

            It’s not the only example, but let’s not pretend this is some league wide problem. I thought the Avant story was cool yesterday, today it’s starting to feel like overkill…catch Yous in a football thread…

        • Maggie

          Well, sir, yours is not the only “brain space” that needs to be considered, now, is it. Many others have opinions and perhaps a need for further understanding of the whole locker room culture and how it impacts some people. For example, I have sometimes wondered how a rookie QB has to put up with childish, idiotic tormentors and then go out on the field and be their leader?

          • GEAGLE

            Aww sweetie, did you think I was going to read more then 3’words from eagles 24/7’s very own Ashley Fox? That’s cute…try again, maybe I’ll read the next one. Tell me again about Golden Tate while you talk down to eagles fans for wanting Byrd…

          • GEAGLE

            Oh yea, time to make fun of Maggie because she is a GIRL on a sports blog. PSSSh gurlz don’t know anything about football! But just so your clear Maggie, it’s not because your a girl that I think your points are so #Dumb. Its because I think you exhibit a bunch of stereotypes that some people attribute to girls. I haven’t heard any retorts…Maybe your just snifflin in the Kitchen. AHahaaha. Don’t trip on your apron when you run away and CRY!
            Just for the record tho, I’m not sexist- I’ve actually talked to many girls B4

          • Maggie

            One has to wonder if either of those girls has talked to you. And you have now typed the name Tate more than I have. Or the several others who have mentioned him as a potential WR target in FA.

          • Clamdigger

            This post… less coherent than Incognito’s tweets.

          • NickS1


          • Bert’s Bells

            You should start your own blog so we can all not read it, instead of having to scroll through volumes of your garbage here.

          • mksp

            Is this real? You’re usually just long-winded, awkwardly obsessive, and kind of creepy. This is something else though…….

        • OldDocRoss

          I take your point when it comes to reading the 152nd article on ESPN about why Bad Thing is Bad, but I’m definitely interested in reading an article like this from someone as intelligent, knowledgeable and articulate as Avant.

          Agree with you on Pouncey. He’s lucky Incognito’s become the lightning rod of hate in this story because he (Pouncey) comes off as the douchiest of douchecanoes. Be interested to see what Goodell hits him with because, besides his involvement in the locker room BS he’s frequently cited as being not credible in the report. Which is basically posh talk for “he’s a lying POS”.

          • cliff henny

            douchecanoes deserves 2 upvotes.

          • NickS1

            I agree with both of you. I absolutely think it’s awesome that of the three main leaders in our locker room (Meco, Vick, Avant), he chose Avant, who arguably has the most influence within our locker room. However, I get Geagle’s point that I’m over this story altogether. The media as a whole, not just ESPN, beat this thing to death within the first two days of the story breaking. So, yeah, I too, cannot wait until this story is behind us. Someone else needs to do something stupid to take the limelight…… Is Hernandez out of jail, yet?

      • Mr. Magee

        Agree with everything except “checks put into place…”

  • Ale (Brazil)

    Avant is such a class act. We cant just cut him and say it’s ok. sometimes leadership is more important than productivity on the field.

    • Token

      If hes happy to take a pay cut and be the #5 WR, sure keep him.

      • ohitsdom

        I don’t think it makes sense to keep him as the #5 WR. In my mind a receiver that low in the depth chart needs to be fast for special teams and have upside, so he can grow while mostly watching from the bench. Like a Russell Sheppard type of player. Avant is quick but not fast, he’s valuable on the hands team for special teams but that’s about it. Either he keeps the slot #3 role (on merit w/ help from his leadership value) or you cut him.

        • morgan c

          Avant is a good ST player. I’m not sure how many tackles he makes, but on returns, he’s probably the best blocker we have. Zach De Ossie anyone??

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            Stop finding reasons. If you have to find reasons hes not a fit.

          • Ark87

            So finding reasons that he doesn’t fit mean he does fit? Or should his post simply be, “He does fit, and is worth every penny.”

            The question is of Avant’s value to this football team. Is he worth his Salary? Are those dollars better spent elsewhere? Is his roster spot better off given to someone else? Seems like both the pro’s and the con’s are relevant to the discussion, no?

          • BrickSquadMonopoly

            Very philosophical of you I’m impressed you really gave that some thought. He’s been riding the leadership role for the last 4 years. He doesn’t contribute hes a placeholder. Finding reasons is keeping someone on a team because he’s a leader. If that’s your logic then keep Vick because even at a couple mil salary he’s got to be one of the best backups in the NFL, especially in this system. Its a reach a very big reach. There are FA non-drafted players that could make a difference ie. Seattle do they have any Avants? lol.

          • NickS1

            We would keep Vick at a couple mil. He wants a chance to start elsewhere, remember? He plays solid special teams, isn’t a bad receiver in a pinch, and is arguably the most valuable leader in the locker room. While I’m for reducing his salary a little, this isn’t like the case of Patrick Chung where the only way he should be kept is if he accepted a pay cut to the league minimum because he does almost as much as harm as he does good. I know it’s the off-season, and we’re bored, but I think we may be getting a little too nit-picky about a player whose contributions are noticed as much to the fans as they are to the players.

    • sprawl

      I think we have to be ready to say goodbye to some players we like this season. Last year was easy because it was obvious who needed to go.

      • Ark87

        I’ll put it this way, if we cut a guy like Avant, and then fail to spend some bucks on some of needs, I’ll be very pissed. We got cap space, if you need more to grab some game changers, fine. I won’t feel great about it (some folks may remember I’m a huge fan of Avant), but I’ll understand. But if we cut him just so we can sit on extra cap space, man. I can’t even tell you…

        • Ale (Brazil)

          You do have a point. I think we should not touch the contract of a guy like Avant, who did everything to deserve the money he’s getting and is a team leader and hard worker to just sit on top of the money. That’s just being cheap. I think the FO thinks the same and if they reestructure Avant’s contract we could be poised for big money FA’s coming to town.

        • ohitsdom

          I don’t think it makes sense to cut him purely for money. It does make sense to cut him to give someone younger with upside more snaps.

          • Ark87

            I say keep him and cut his snaps, then, if someone can take them from him (they could not last year). If we end up having the cap space for him anyway, then why not? I think his presence helps these young guy realize their upside. Show them how a guy with none has stayed in the league for 8 years. And not just by example, by hands on tutoring. WR’s tend to be Diva, finesse, and sometimes a tad soft. Avant is the complete opposite of that. I wish we had kept his protege, Russel Shepard, instead of Damaris Johnson.

          • ohitsdom

            I’m with you on Shep over Damaris. Sheppard’s growth last summer/preseason in such a short time is a complete reflection of Avant’s influence.

          • Andy124

            Yeah, I always go back to, ‘how many WRs are we going to add?’ and ‘Would you keep DJ2 or Maehl over Avant?’. The answer to #2 is a resounding NO for me. So even if we add 2 WRs this year (I’m going with two future HOFers in Momah and Benn), Avant still gets to stay.

          • Wilbert31

            There’s a coffee spitter! Maybe we could call Momah “HC2” after our WR coach?

          • Andy124

            I’m hoping for IM1, pronounced I am 1. And he changes his jersey number to #1.

          • NickS1

            Re: Shepard over Johnson…. A-f’n-men

    • Richard Colton

      Downvote was from Chad Hall

    • bill

      I agree. It just reminds me of how said I was when Dawkins left for Denver

  • Andy

    I think Mike Vick was a pretty good presence in the locker room, believe it or not. With him gone and if Avant doesn’t return, I wonder if the leadership will be the same. Ryans seems like a good leader. I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be with Shady McCoy setting the tone after last offseason.

    • Ark87

      There would definitely be a pretty big void left on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the WR corps. Not so much in the huddle, but in practice, drills, the weight room, etc. Veteran leaders to lead by example, work their butts off outside of game day even though they probably won’t be getting a whole lot better themselves. Taking the job seriously, being a professional. I think a lot of that will fall on guys like Brent, the O-line, and Nick, who already serve that role to a large extent.

      • James Hathaway

        For setting an example of how to handle yourself, i would be perfectly fine with Maclin stepping into that role. He’s been very quiet off the field, other than when he is involved in charity work. I’ve met him, and he’s an extremely nice and down to earth guy.

        Granted, that means maclin is back, but I don’t want d-jax and shady grooming the new class on how to act like a “professional”.

  • Great, great read.
    I know everyone’s opinion on him is divided. I’ll admit he’s not the most talented WR we could be employing. But I sure hope he finds some way to retire as an Eagle, and come back to the team after leaving the field.

  • Kev_H

    What he wrote is why I’m betting on the Eagles keeping Avant at his contract. The organization and man who writes the checks values the locker room leadership and presence. It would be different is he was owed a ton of money, but he is scheduled for $3.2 million, well worth to send the message to the roster that character and leadership is valued. If you cut him over that, it just comes across as lip service.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Great point, value of character and leadership, hoping they keep him as well because of that

  • Papa

    I think Adrian Hubbard is ganna be a 4th rd target. A barwin clone or replacement in 2yrs. Not a lot of production overall from him but great size & long arms. From what I read huls will have to add muscle tone & and everything but from a height weight stand point he is there with long arms. He is intelligent having already graduated with a degree in business management & should interview very well. Stoutland should know quite a bit about him. If he runs in the 4.6s & has stoutlands blessing he is a lock.

    • cliff henny

      he was a guy i watched cause thought same thing. he was solid 2nd rdr and has fallen to at best 4th. he showed little interest or energy, ever. if you werent looking for his number on about 95% of the plays, never even know this guy was on the field. i wanted to like the guy, ‘bama olbr, been some good ones, has the measurables, but he showed very little.

      • Papa

        Didn’t say he was perfect that’s why he would be a 4th rd target or later even. Just saying we have the ultimate advantage on him in stoutland if he signs off on him then I’m 100% on board. Means he did well in practice against his OL. There’s any number of reasons he could have had a down yr. His production was ok last yr. Just like the tangibles and intangibles as a later rd guy

        • cliff henny

          true, who would know better than stoutland. i grew to really dislike the guy compared to others that were 3rd/4th rdrs over the fall. if you watched a ‘bama game live and didnt know his number, you’d swear he wasnt even on draft radar. he really did nothing, set an edge, hussle, cover, pressure. hope they look another direction.

  • Considering the intangibles, I just can’t see a better option as the #4 or #5 WR. And hiring him on as a coach or a mentor or whatever after he retires (hopefully as an Eagle) should be a no-brainer.

    • MediaMike

      His salary could be reduced to the level of the roster bonus he’s due to receive. It would keep him here, but give the Eagles another $2 million to play with. I don’t think people would be looking to scalp Avant if he was making veteran minimum.

    • Richard Colton

      Agree. Except its tough to be a team leader if you’re the 52nd guy on the roster. I’d love to see him back in some capacity, but we need a little more production out of our 3rd WR.

  • Mr. Magee

    Agree that avant comes across as a thoughtful, credible, articulate leader – impressive.

    But the decision on what to do with him going forward is multi-faceted, and will not be easy. Those of you who claim to know precisely what the Eagles should do – and threatening great emotion if they don’t proceed in a certain way – should just take a deep breath. Whatever eagles mgmt decides, it will be some time before anyone knows if they made the “right” call or not.