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Lions’ Cliff Avril dismisses hometown discounts, hints at tampering

Cliff Avril AP

If the Detroit Lions want to keep defensive end Cliff Avril, they’re going to have to put the franchise tag on him or offer him more money than any other team on the open market.

Avril made clear in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that he has no intention of taking less money to stay in Detroit just because the Lions have a good thing going. Instead, he wants the Lions to reward him for being a big part of the good thing they have going. And he hinted that if the Lions aren’t going to do that, other teams have already expressed interest. (He didn’t mention that other teams expressing interest would violate the league’s tampering rules.)

There’s no such thing as a hometown discount in the NFL,” Avril said, via the Detroit Free Press. “Once you can’t play anymore, they’re going to let you go, so you definitely have to strike gold when you can.”

Avril has said he doesn’t want to be franchised, but he still holds out hope that the Lions will show him the money on a long-term contract. If the Lions don’t do that, Avril suggested that other teams have already made their intentions clear.

“I kind of think the Lions will try to do the right thing, I guess,” he said. “A lot of teams don’t think the Lions will let me hit free agency. But a few teams have called.”

The Detroit Free Press article based on Avril’s SiriusXM interview doesn’t make an issue of those comments, but if teams have called Avril, those teams are breaking NFL rules. The Lions, who were penalized for tampering last year, will surely be curious to know which teams have called one of their players.

“I just want to be paid as one of the guys that’s helping the team grow,” Avril said. “I want to be there. We have a young D-line. But I know it’s a business, and you only hit free agency once or twice in your career, so you definitely have to take advantage of it.”

No one can blame Avril for wanting to take advantage. But the Lions can blame other teams if they’re trying to get an unfair advantage on signing Avril.

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35 Responses to “Lions’ Cliff Avril dismisses hometown discounts, hints at tampering”
  1. jeremycrowhurst says: Feb 17, 2012 7:15 AM

    “Teams” don’t make phone calls, people from teams do, and it’s not tampering if the caller is a player from the other team, which has been common practise for more than a decade.

  2. kingmj4891 says: Feb 17, 2012 7:17 AM

    As a lions fan I like Avril, but he really is more of a system guy, with Suh and now Fairley taking doubles and triples all day long almost any DE will be able to take advantage of that.

  3. jenniferxxx says: Feb 17, 2012 7:33 AM

    He may be the most honest man in the NFL.

  4. chc4 says: Feb 17, 2012 7:35 AM

    Hey Cliff — The “right thing” for Detroit may not be the “right thing” for you. If they don’t place as high a value on your skills as you do then they shouldn’t meet your demands. So please spare us the “Detroit’s contract offer was an insult” line when negotiations start.

  5. grogansheroes says: Feb 17, 2012 7:39 AM

    “Once you can’t play anymore, they’re going to let you go, so you definitely have to strike gold when you can.”

    He is absolutely right!

  6. waccoforflacco says: Feb 17, 2012 7:53 AM

    Pay the man Mr. Ford…you got the dough.

  7. crazycane says: Feb 17, 2012 7:54 AM

    “Once you can’t play anymore, they’re going to let you go, so you definitely have to strike gold when you can.”

    Lion fans will perceive this as he plays for the money while not realizing he’s 100% correct. Get paid when you can because once you’re declining they will cut you without any lament.

  8. motorcitykitties says: Feb 17, 2012 8:01 AM

    Avril looks great with KVB, Suh, and Williams lined up next to him. Throw him on a weak D line (or just take Suh out the game) and you see how effective he is (not so much). You can’t blame him for exploiting a fortunate situation but if he is looking for break-the-bank money… then franchise and trade him to a sucker.

  9. johnnycash19 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:03 AM

    I remember the player the Lions were accused of tampering with saying that he, nor his agent, ever had any contact with the Lions.

    Detroit should be getting a draft pick if this is true.

    Either way, you would love for Cliff to take a hometown discount, but it’s understandable, he wants to make as much money as he can while he’s in the NFL. Can’t blame him there.

  10. thekiy says: Feb 17, 2012 8:04 AM

    Avril is a good young player but I don’t know if he is worth what he thinks he is. 11 sacks is decent production, put I’d expect more from a 4-3 speed rusher with the kind of interior line the Lions have.

  11. truthserum4u says: Feb 17, 2012 8:09 AM

    Aside from the fact these guys clearly don’t know league rules, or they wouldn’t be blabbing so much; I have a question for Detroit fans: If salary cap restrictions would prevent the Lions from giving Arvil a decent contract, why wouldn’t they part ways with the older Vanden Bosch to clear some cap room? From a long term perspective, wouldn’t it be better to keep the younger, up and coming Arvil?

    Maybe Arvil just said teams were contacting him to push the Lions towards signing him sooner to a big contract.

  12. nxsteven says: Feb 17, 2012 8:14 AM

    Why does every article on this site end with a CSI: Miami tag line?

  13. noeffinway says: Feb 17, 2012 8:27 AM

    @truthserum4u,
    Sacrificing KVB would still not free up enough cap space to sign Avril. So why do it?

  14. jcmeyer10 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:31 AM

    He’s right. Teams are willing to toss guys aside as soon as they don’t perform so why not cash in while he can.

    He has worked his entire life to be where he is right now. The Lions have reaped the rewards of this investment so far so ‘show him the money’

  15. egreen4590 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:43 AM

    truthserum4u says: Feb 17, 2012 8:09 AM

    Aside from the fact these guys clearly don’t know league rules, or they wouldn’t be blabbing so much; I have a question for Detroit fans: If salary cap restrictions would prevent the Lions from giving Arvil a decent contract, why wouldn’t they part ways with the older Vanden Bosch to clear some cap room? From a long term perspective, wouldn’t it be better to keep the younger, up and coming Arvil?

    Maybe Arvil just said teams were contacting him to push the Lions towards signing him sooner to a big contract.

    ————————————-

    KVB is the leader of the defense. Next up is Tulloch..
    If they’re both gone who will we be left with? Suh? All he’ll do is teach em how to stomp on sh!t and slam gingers into the dirt.

    Thanks, but no thanks Cliff. Rookie Willie Young looked great comin off the edge last year. You can be replaced! Yes you did have 11 sacks and 6 forced fumbles this season..but still. Just no. It’s been fun bud.

    Sincerely,
    One of three Detroit fans who want Suh gone.

  16. selldannysell says: Feb 17, 2012 8:57 AM

    Off topic, if Cliff Avril married Avril Lavigne, she’d be Avril Lavigne Avril.

  17. rodgers419 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:00 AM

    Be as loyal to your employer as your employer is loyal to you.

    ..so go get the money, Cliff.

  18. ahs2 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:04 AM

    crazycane says:
    Feb 17, 2012 7:54 AM
    “Once you can’t play anymore, they’re going to let you go, so you definitely have to strike gold when you can.”

    Lion fans will perceive this as he plays for the money while not realizing he’s 100% correct.
    _________________________________

    You’re an idiot for generalizing what “Lions fans will perceive”…I wasn’t aware you had acces to our collective perception, oh great one!

  19. truthserum4u says: Feb 17, 2012 9:30 AM

    @ noeffinway & egreen4590

    I thought Vanden Bosch had signed a pretty big contract, and since he is already 33 years old and will only be around another few years, I thought it made sense to go the younger route. It seems like Lions fans are all right with moving on without him though. Thanks guys!

  20. klunge says: Feb 17, 2012 9:31 AM

    waccoforflacco says:
    Feb 17, 2012 7:53 AM
    Pay the man Mr. Ford…you got the dough.
    ————————————————-
    It seems you slept through your Salary Cap 101 class…doesn’t matter how much money “Mr Ford” has, the team is only allowed to spend around $120M and the Lions are near the ceiling already. The Fords haven’t been tight with the pursestrings lately so don’t blame them.

  21. 6ball says: Feb 17, 2012 9:31 AM

    .

    The Jets are hiding injuries for weeks with Slauson and the Lions are victims of tampering with Avril.

    When will the league stop playing favorites and take real action against the Patriots for filming in an open stadium in full view of 60k fans and a national TV audience.

    The NFL should revoke both Patriots 1st round picks. The first because the Jets lied about Slauson’s injury. The second because another team tried to get a jump on free agency by tampering with Averil..

    .

  22. shackdelrio says: Feb 17, 2012 9:33 AM

    Come home to Jacksonville

  23. suhnami says: Feb 17, 2012 9:35 AM

    From most reports, Cliff looks like he’s REALLY looking to cash in…upwards of 6 years $70 million. I don’t care who you are a fan of, anybody in their right mind will know that Cliff does not deserve a contract that pays him with the likes of Julius Peppers, Jared Allen, DeMarcus Ware and Dwight Freeney….more money than guys like Terrell Suggs, and Tamba Hali…he just simply is not that good (YET).

    Best of luck to you Cliff trying to prove Detroit wrong…let me know how facing double teams feels for the first time in your career when you’re playing elsewhere in 2013. I have a feeling after next season you may make the “Charles Johnson contract” seem less ridiculous.

    Oh yea and for those who say “cut KVB to make room” you really are not grasping the type of money Cliff is talking about compared to what KVB makes…cutting KVB may at bets cover half of the cap space required to sign Cliff long term.

    With the $50-60 million cost difference between Cliff and guys like LoJack and Willie Young, I just don’t see that drop in overall production going to those guys being greater than the cost of resigning Cliff.

  24. suhnami says: Feb 17, 2012 9:43 AM

    shackdelrio says: Feb 17, 2012 9:33 AM

    Come home to Jacksonville

    ———————————————

    I’m sure you’re aware, but from a first hand perspective I can tell you, overpaying for players (as well as things like reaching for players in the draft to fill needs) is the philosophy of LOSING franchises….

    may want to think this through before your wish becomes true…

  25. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Feb 17, 2012 9:43 AM

    Who wouldn’t want to be paid less money to live and work in Detroit?

  26. detroitchevy says: Feb 17, 2012 9:51 AM

    Tag him then bag him, Suh and the rest of the D-line make him look good.

  27. purpleguy says: Feb 17, 2012 10:07 AM

    The Lions have an estimated $500K under the salary cap when everything is factored in — I doubt that’s enough.

  28. klunge says: Feb 17, 2012 10:20 AM

    suhnami says:
    Feb 17, 2012 9:35 AM
    With the $50-60 million cost difference between Cliff and guys like LoJack and Willie Young, I just don’t see that drop in overall production going to those guys being greater than the cost of resigning Cliff.
    ————————————————

    ^^^True. Even if it’s by force, we’ll see Mayhew and Schwartz turning to the Belichick method, of drafting talent and finding late round/undrafted sleepers who can contribute for 3-5yrs on low-buck contracts and when it’s time for monster payday they’ll get traded away and the next young up-and-comer will fill the role.

    The Charles Johnson deal skewed everything, because Avril outperformed him last year he’ll expect to be paid more. The problem with players is they measure their value compared to other players who are overpaid. By most players standards McGahee should be given a $9M/yr contract because he put up better stats than Chris gode-toofs Johnson. I like Cliff but I hope we franchise and trade him for 1st and grab some new blood.

  29. detroitcityryda says: Feb 17, 2012 11:29 AM

    Let him go re sign tulloch and promote willie young and draft a de in second or third round . with suh and fairley in the middle anyone can have a break out year at DE .plus it leaves us money to sign a top cornerback .

  30. bdfun400 says: Feb 17, 2012 11:30 AM

    what would this site be if there werent 15 accusations of tampering per day

  31. majbobby says: Feb 17, 2012 12:41 PM

    How can the Lions be able to afford to Franchise Avril at reported 22.9M if Houston cannot afford to do it with Williams. Does not make sense to me the Detroit has the room but Houston does not?

  32. okieviacal says: Feb 17, 2012 1:51 PM

    So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu! Adieu, adieu, to number ninety-two!

    Obviously the Lions can’t afford him and will likely refrain from cutting 3 or 4 players just to sign Avril. So the question becomes, where does he sign and, though Jackson and Young might step up, where will the turn to replace him?

  33. weaselpuppy says: Feb 17, 2012 6:09 PM

    Cliff is coming into his own as a player….but he’s not a top 5 DE in this league, not even top 10, maybe not top 15. Willie Young was a disruptive speed rush guy, but he doesn’t have the same strength and not the same knack for forcing fumbles….but Young at $500K each of the next 2 years is a lot better than Avril at some kind of $40m guarantee…

    If Cliffy will do a contract in the $7m a year range of real money, then he’s a Lion. Otherwise, sayanora. LoJack/KVB on one side and Young with Suh sliding out to DE for 15-20 snaps a game ( since we have an embarrassment of riches at DT with him, Fairley, Sammie Lee Hill (the new Pat Williams) and Corey Williams…)

    I’m sure we’ll draft a 3rd or 4th rd guy to develop and use the money to lock down Tulloch, Hill and Eric Wright ( as a nickel) long term…

  34. macarwolf says: Feb 18, 2012 7:23 AM

    Everyone says get paid. Take the money, it’s all about the money. I just gotta go with the team that will pay me the most. I don’t care where I go just pay me. To that, I say goodbye my friend. This guy got better but that interior has helped him reach those stats. Sign him and trade him. He wants to be treated like a product then value him like a product. Don’t let him leave without selling the product for yourself. To say those comments was dumb. Not a good look my friend.

  35. macarwolf says: Feb 18, 2012 7:35 AM

    The real questions is who has been contacting him? Move this guy like the Patriots do there players. Players want to be cut throat it’s time Lions to be the same way. Only a few main pieces will get what they want is the way I see it.

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