The Eagles traded away a fourth-round pick for Genard Avery during the 2019 season and in his year and a half with the Eagles, he hasn’t done very much.
While Avery flashed with the Browns, it always seemed like the Eagles’ previous coaching staff didn’t have a great sense of how to use him.
Apparently the new coaching staff has a different idea:
That’s a video from Rischad Whitfield (aka the Footwork King), who says the Eagles are planning to move Avery from defensive end to linebacker this season.
Avery, 25, has played sparingly for the Eagles since he was acquired back in 2019. In 2019, he played in 8 games and in 2020 he played in 11. In 19 games with the Eagles, he has 1 1/2 sacks and 12 combined tackles, which isn’t exactly the type of production the Eagles had hoped for.
At 6-foot, 250 pounds, Avery is kind of a tweener. He’s built like a mini version of Brandon Graham and has some juice as a rusher, but all we’ve seen are intermittent flashes. Early in his time with the Eagles, Jim Schwartz lined him up at defensive end, as a standup edge rusher, as an inside linebacker and even on the interior of the D-line for a few snaps. It seemed like Schwartz was experimenting but nothing seemed to stick and Avery never really found his place.
The lack of playing time for Avery seemed to signal a disconnect between the front office and the coaching staff and it was just one of many in recent years.
Can Avery be productive as a true linebacker? That remains to be seen. I still think his strength is his quickness off the ball as a situational pass rusher and I’m not sure he’ll be able to take coverage snaps as a linebacker. Maybe he can play ‘backer and be a thumper on early downs.
The Eagles at the linebacker position will bring back Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards, Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor in 2021. Nate Gerry and Duke Riley are set to be unrestricted free agents.
The 2019 trade for Avery is the reason the Eagles do not have a fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft, so it would be disappointing if he doesn’t make the team this season.
In 2021, Avery is in the final year of his rookie contract and will have a base salary of $920,000 with a cap hit to match.
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