Lions unlikely to work out a contract with Cliff Avril


When the Lions put the franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril, both sides said they wanted to get a long-term deal done. But it appears that Avril will play on the one-year franchise tender this season.

In a story about the Lions turning their attention to re-signing linebacker Stephen Tulloch, Anwar Richardson of writes that the Lions and Avril are far apart in negotiations, and the odds of Avril agreeing to a long-term contract this offseason are very slim.

That means Avril will probably skip most or all of the offseason and eventually sign the one-year franchise tender, and play out the season on the one-year tender.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for either side. For the Lions, working out a long-term contract with Calvin Johnson means they won’t have to use the franchise tag on Johnson next year, and they’ll have it available to franchise Avril again if he has another good season in 2012. For Avril, the franchise tender is a one-year guaranteed salary of $10.6 million, and if he gets franchised again next year he’d be guaranteed a 2013 salary of $12.7 million, or 120 percent of this year’s salary. Making $23.3 million over the next two years wouldn’t be a bad thing.

So while both sides said they wanted to get a long-term contract done, neither side should be too disappointed if it doesn’t get done. And even if a long-term deal between the Lions and Avril isn’t done a year from now, that wouldn’t be too bad, either.

17 responses to “Lions unlikely to work out a contract with Cliff Avril

  1. $10.6 mil is way overpaying for this guy. No wonder he’s thrilled to take the franchise tag. If I were Cliff I’d be hoping for two in a row. If I were the Lions I’d pull the tag and let him hit free agency.

  2. One-hit wonder. Last season was the only one he had 10+ sacks. Before then he was all but irrelevant (5.5 and 5 in the two seasons prior). If it were for Suh, he be nothing. He expects a big monster contract after that? No. He has to prove he can do it consistently.

  3. This year will say a lot about his career trajectory. His numbers are actually comparable to Mario Williams career wise. While its true last year was his first with double digit sacks, each year his numbers have gone up, and last year was only his 4th in the league. He could be just hitting stride and coming into his peak. But he has to keep it up for at least next year before getting a fat long term contract. Plenty of motivation for avril to perform this year.

  4. Get what you can for him and let him go his replacement is on the team for less money. (Young or Lo jack)
    A two or three will look good and the cap can go to improving the back7.
    If I know this the front office have to have away out a trick is on the way.

  5. “And even if a long-term deal between the Lions and Avril isn’t done a year from now, that wouldn’t be too bad, either.”


    Unless of course Avril blows out a knee or has another type of career ending injury. Then a long term deal with guaranteed money and an injury buyout would be very handy.

  6. “Wouldn’t be a bad thing”?

    Sure, not for Cliff Avril. $23.3 million for the next two years? He’s not even close to worth it. He really has an overinflated value of himself and needs to learn how to play the run better. I used to say that when you’re on the edge of the cliff, it’s good to have Cliff on the edge. No longer. Find a way to trade this guy. He’s not worth the cap hit.

  7. Yeah, I’d think there is literally a zero percent chance Avril will be playing for the Lions for $10.6 million this year. I’d be shocked if Mayhew doesn’t move him if a long-term deal isn’t signed.

  8. It’s been smelling like a trade coming for awhile now, for a corner possibly? Who knows, he’s more valuable to a 3-4 D IMO which allows more possible suitors but the simple fact is either trade him now or we end tagging him next year too…the alternative being he walks while we get zip in return. We can get a DE in the 3rd not to mention LoJack and Willie can hold it down this year…especially with a healthy Fairley…can’t wait to see that hehe

  9. Trade him, even for a single first-rounder this year. Dumping that franchise salary will easily allow them to pay 2 first-round rookie defender’s salaries. Kuechly and Kirkpatrick + some leftover cash in exchange for Avril? I’d take that gamble with the front line depth we have already.

  10. For that price we need to let this guy walk. There is no way he’s worth all that money. Please trade him we have Lojack and Willie young who are starving for playing time and are absolute beasts who dont make half his salary.

  11. The other thing is that LoJack and Willie Young combined are like 1/2 the salary of Avril but probably close to the same production. I don’t really see any logical reason for the Lions to hold onto the guy at the franchise rate.

  12. It just seems a bit unfair to the players that they can get franchise tagged two years in a row. Adrian Peterson disaproves.

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