I got a decent amount of pushback from a story I wrote last week floating the idea of bringing Tavon Austin to Philadelphia.
The Rams are releasing the receiver/runner/returner two seasons after signing him to a four-year, $42 million deal. He was due eight million this season and has largely underwhelmed while playing with seven different quarterbacks, two different head coaches, and three different offensive coordinators in two different cities. That’s not to absolve him of his subpar performances since 2013, but you can’t tell me that the constant shuffling didn’t have something to do with it… right? You try starting your career with Jeff Fisher, Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, and Austin Davis.
A league source reached out to Crossing Broad a few days after the story went up, explaining that Austin has had contact with the Texans, Steelers, Jets and Ravens. Of those four teams, Austin would prefer to sign with the Texans, but reportedly has high interest in playing for the Eagles. The Birds, however, have not been in contact.
I explained in the article how I think Austin would be a nice Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner combination replacement, a guy who I think can provide different looks offensively and give you some bite in the return game. If Torrey Smith is released and Mack Hollins gets a bigger role next year, you can do worse than Austin as your WR4 and punt/kick guy at a minimal salary, maybe a one-year “prove it” deal a la Alshon Jeffery. I really have no clue what his value is on the open market.
If Tavon ends up in Houston, he’s looking at having some stability with Deshaun Watson running the show for years to come, assuming Watson can stay healthy. He would probably find success on the Steelers, though their quarterback future looks foggy. I’d stay away from New York and Baltimore, though Austin did play high school ball literally 2.4 miles from the Ravens’ stadium.