A Character S-Avant?
How does a guy with modest on-field production keep a roster position with the same NFL team for 8 years? He doesn’t drop the rock and he strengthens the team in ways other than just catches, yards, and touchdowns. This is how Jason Avant kept an active roster spot with the Eagles, and why the Panthers brought him to Carolina.
The Eagles will miss Avant's presence in the locker room, around the NovaCare Complex and on game days. A religious man, according to all accounts, Avant led by example but also wasn't afraid to speak up if need be. He mentored many young players, in recent years taking them under his wing in Bible study classes or after practice catching balls from the jug machine.
The most important part of an NFL locker room is leadership. If there isn’t good leadership, one bad apple has potential to corrupt the bunch. In Philadelphia, our franchise has had some great leaders. 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 were able to grow, both as a team and as individuals—Riley included.