Ex-Eagles LB Sends Strong Message After Signing with Steelers

Genard Avery

Getty Eagles DE Genard Avery recorded a sack in Week 9 versus the Bears and looks to be a key player moving forward.

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially signed Genard Avery to a one-year contract on Tuesday. The 26-year-old linebacker is expected to compete for backup snaps behind starters T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. The financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately disclosed.

Originally a fifth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2018, Avery spent the last three seasons in Philadelphia where he racked up three sacks, 10 quarterback hits, and 55 tackles. He was supposed to provide extra pass-rushing support but never fully carved out a role. The Eagles surrendered a fourth-rounder (110th overall) in 2021 to acquire him in a mid-season trade. Cleveland used the pick on offensive tackle James Hudson.

Avery saw action in 35 games for the Eagles, including 12 starts over three seasons. He bounced around as an athletic hybrid player on defense — mainly at defensive end and linebacker — while seeing meaningful snaps on special teams. The University of Memphis product just couldn’t catch on (injuries didn’t help) and harbored no ill will toward Philly as evidenced by a nice farewell message on Twitter.

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Eagles Address Fletcher Cox Decision

The wildest moment of the offseason so far has been Fletcher Cox’s unexpected release. The team exposed the six-time Pro Bowler to the waiver wire back on March 17, then brought him back a few days later at a discounted price. Cox will earn $14 million in 2022, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni recently explained the logic behind the maneuvering. Oddly, he referenced Cox’s ability to stop the run which has never really been his strong suit. The 31-year-old ranks fifth all-time for sacks in franchise history with 58. Cox is coming off a down year in 2021, one littered with rough patches including a short-lived feud with defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

“I had rough patches. Jalen [Hurts] had rough patches last season,” Sirianni said. “We believe in those guys. We believe in Fletcher Cox. We believe in Derek Barnett. Fletcher Cox is still dominant in the run game. He’s still a dominant player in the run game that can stop the run. And he can still get after the passer.”

Howie Roseman Addresses Quiet Free Agency

Aside from the signing of Haason Reddick, it has been a quiet offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. They kicked the tires on several receivers in free agency but nothing materialized. Ditto for at least one high-profile safety. Nothing.

General manager Howie Roseman confirmed he explored the market, then pulled back on a few offers. Some of them weren’t a “good fit” due to financials and scheme. Now the Eagles will look to bolster depth the old-fashioned way, via the NFL draft.

“We looked into a bunch of opportunities,” Roseman said. “Some of them we felt like just weren’t the right fit for us, whether from a cost perspective or a position perspective. I would just say this: We’re not even to April. We are working every day. We are not going to stop working.”

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