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November 18, 2014

Panthers release WR Jason Avant

The Carolina Panthers released veteran wideout Jason Avant on Tuesday, two days after Avant questioned the play-calling during the end of the Atlanta loss in an interview with the Observer.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the move had nothing to do with Avant's comments -- he said he wasn't aware of them -- but was done to give undrafted rookie Philly Brown a chance at more playing time.

Rivera also announced starting right tackle Nate Chandler will undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee and will be placed on injured reserve.

Rivera said Avant was surprised by the move.

"In all fairness to him, it has nothing to do with what he didn’t do or did or anything like that. This had everything to do with what we see in Philly and the potential in him," Rivera said.

"When you have veteran guys who play a lot in front of younger guys that have potential, sometimes you stunt their growth. This is something we felt we needed to do to give Philly an opportunity to be on the field more."

Avant, who signed a 1-year, $1.05 million deal with the Panthers during the offseason, had struggled to get separation from defensive backs in recent weeks.

He caught 21 passes for 201 yards with one touchdown for the Panthers. His 9.6 yards-per-catch average is a career low.

Brown, who went undrafted out of Ohio State, had a 47-yard touchdown catch against the Falcons -- the second-longest reception of the season for the Panthers.

In an interview with the Observer, Avant said the Panthers should have been "a little bit more aggressive" after driving to the Atlanta 32 in the final two minutes.

The Panthers called three consecutive running plays -- gaining 4 yards -- before Graham Gano missed a 46-yard field goal with 1:22 remaining.

“I’ve been in the league a long time. I know two things. You never want to give a team a chance to win a game, with how much time was left on the clock. And asking a kicker to make a 50-yard field goal with the game on the line is rough sledding,” Avant said.

“If that’s the only option, yes. But if it’s not, you want to get as close as you can and think score and play to score a touchdown. Because I’d rather the team have to score a touchdown to win the game than to have to kick a field goal. It’s just a lot different. It’s a 30-yard difference.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on November 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Permalink


meanwhile in baltimore....

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 18, 2014 1:03:46 PM

Sounds like the chips are being cashed in. Time to let the young guys play and hope for a good draft pick.

Posted by: RB Ron | Nov 18, 2014 1:07:07 PM

Exactly right Avant.
The defense after being on the field all day was gonna be iffy with that much time left to stop the Falcons.
The only thing I saw from Cam Sunday that could be a positive for weeks to come is, after the TD to Benjamin looked as if Cam realized he doesn't have to throw a bullet every time and then that last TD to Philly was a pretty pass that looked like Cam felt confident in putting some touch on it.
I don't know thought this has been a disgusting display on all facets of team, except the defense these past few.
As far as I'm concerned I just wasted this time to write this.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Nov 18, 2014 1:13:33 PM

Great move! Philly played great that game. Now we need to find a good quarterback. Cam will be with the Raiders next season.

Posted by: BRUCEE | Nov 18, 2014 1:43:35 PM

I will sprinkle some crack on him.

Posted by: The Cracken | Nov 18, 2014 1:45:37 PM

Looks like this season has turned into a hot mess.

Pretty obvious you can't just cut everyone and try to piecemeal a team back together - not gonna get the same results as last season

Bye Cam, Welcome Tim Tebow!

Posted by: Jake Delhomme | Nov 18, 2014 1:53:53 PM

Really?! So the reason they are gonna give us is that they release Avant after 11 weeks is to let Philly play more, while they're still willing paying Avant for not playing or contributing? What about the option of sitting or making Avant inactive while letting Philly play?

How dumb do they think we are?! He got cut because he spoke the truth and questioned the dumb play-calling philosophy!

Posted by: Jeez | Nov 18, 2014 1:54:51 PM

Mark my word. Dave Gettlemen will NOT resign Newton. He cut Steve Smith. He is not scarred. This franchise will start over in 2015.

Posted by: BRUCEE | Nov 18, 2014 1:57:57 PM

Should have never signed him to begin with you cut the franchise leader in receiving because he's a shadow of his former self and then sign two more shadows smdh

Posted by: former panthers fan | Nov 18, 2014 2:02:15 PM

Jeez is right - they cut Avant because he spoke the truth. This ultra-conservative ball has been killing us for years and still is. I agree Cam will leave - it's the same thing we did to Kerry Collins: wipe out his entire receiver corps and expect him to produce. Gettleman is incompetent and all of his risky tactics are failing....this form of Money Ball just doesn't work in the NFL

Posted by: KalmiaBoy | Nov 18, 2014 2:03:00 PM

Jason Avant?? Really? Has he been in the game? I forgot he was on the team. I haven`t heard his name at all. We won`t miss him.

Posted by: 3eyez | Nov 18, 2014 2:04:10 PM

Can still throws high and holds the ball a little longer but with no o-line and shadows instead of receivers can you really blame him not to mention a qb coach for an o-coordinator

Posted by: former panthers fan | Nov 18, 2014 2:04:58 PM

it's not even money ball. they aren't being frugal, they're just being stupid. he's paying a boatload of money for guys to play for other teams.

and not offering gross a contract was just dumb. he retired because he didn't want to move, not because he didn't want to play anymore.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 18, 2014 2:08:22 PM

I screwed up again and Avant called me on it. I can't handle the truth. I would think after being around the NFL for some 30 years I could recognize a situation for what it is and be on the smart side of things. But hey, cut me some slack, I'm 4 years into this thing and still having a hard time grasping how to coach winning football. Keep me around (say another 4 years) and I'll figure it out, uh maybe. So far, my success rate is at 25 percent. 1 winning season out of 4, so I ain't all that bad, am I ?

Posted by: Ron Rivera | Nov 18, 2014 2:08:32 PM

Steve Smith is a cancer, ask Baltimore. Cam is our QB. Our OC and Head Coach should realize that Cam responds better in an up tempo rather than the old 3 yds and cloud of dust theory. We moved the ball with precision in the 4th qtr because of the no huddle. Think about it. We need a new OC. Where's Chud?

Posted by: Robray | Nov 18, 2014 2:12:57 PM

To Ron @2:08

How dare you. Who do you think you are.

Posted by: Robert | Nov 18, 2014 2:13:19 PM

Will say Philly could be the spark we need to just miss winning the division.
Avant has been covered in a blanket.

Posted by: 10-4!! | Nov 18, 2014 2:20:41 PM

I would bet my house that Bill Belichick would have won this game faced with the same situation. And I dislike the NE patriots.

Posted by: JL | Nov 18, 2014 2:23:13 PM

I can see this happening soon but the Panthers organization is going to be viewed in a similar way as the Raiders. The comments by Avant's agent says it all but Avant deserves better than Panthers at this stage in the career.

Also, I have a feeling that Cam decides that he will not resign with the Panthers. I can see Cam going to a place like Dallas in 2016.

Posted by: PKC | Nov 18, 2014 2:32:29 PM

Rivera is lying. Avant was cut for telling it like it is.

Posted by: James Reed | Nov 18, 2014 2:34:37 PM

I would hope Gettleman/Rivera wouldnt have fired Avant for his statement esp. when its absolutely 100% true plus he was very diplomatic in how he said it but Rivera's reason doesnt hold water imo. Gettleman may have a knack for evaluating talent but there hasnt been a whole lot to get excited about with his decisions running the organization.

Posted by: KnockItDown | Nov 18, 2014 2:48:41 PM

at the very least.....this shows that gettleman will cut one of his own signings. previously he's just been clearing out those that weren't "his guys".

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 18, 2014 2:52:50 PM

Gross was under contract and retired. Are you in the lockeroom FACTS?

Posted by: ray | Nov 18, 2014 3:01:57 PM

Agree Charlottean

Posted by: 10-4!! | Nov 18, 2014 3:29:33 PM

Why did Gettleman sign Avant in the first place then??

Posted by: KnockItDown | Nov 18, 2014 3:52:08 PM

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