Lions “aggressively” trying to lock up Avril

AP

Anwar Richardson of MLive.com recently suggested that the Lions were far apart in long-term contract talks with defensive end Cliff Avril, who is currently sporting a franchise tag.

The Lions are trying to bridge the gap.

We’ve been very aggressive in trying to get him done,” club president Tom Lewand said on Monday, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve had a lot of discussions with his agent. They’ve been very committed, but where it is now, and we’ve had other priorities. We’ll continue to pay mind of getting him extended, just like we will a number of other guys.”

The Lions and Avril have until July 15 to strike a long-term agreement, per NFL franchise tag rules.

Birkett does not expect the parties to reach a deal before the offseason program starts on April 16.

25 responses to “Lions “aggressively” trying to lock up Avril

  1. Not sure this is really news, but hey it March right?

    Anyhow, would love to see them get this guy locked down. People love to say the Lions are over valuing him because he plays next to Suh, but he is a premiere young DE in this league. He knows how to rush the passer and how to make big plays by knocking the ball loose.

  2. I hope they do it more aggressively than they tried to defend the Saints in the playoffs, except for that one phone bomber nut.

  3. I’d rather see us just trade him to help clear cap space. I appreciate what he’s done for us but I’m not ready for us to invest what Cliff seems to want. Especially with LoJack and Willie Young behind him. I have faith we won’t over pay though. Would love to clear the cap space up for OJ Atogwe to make his way here.

  4. I have heard from some knowledgeable football people who say he’s their BEST defensive lineman.

  5. do they have any money left after Megatrons, mega-deal?? fitzgerald in AZ is feeling like a foodstamp reciepient now

  6. Avril is good with Suh, Fairley, and Vanden Bosch on the line with him. Unfortunately he doesn’t stand out too much on his own. Hopefully, for his career, he stays with the Lions or else some other DE is going to take that blessing.

  7. I hope he is willing to take what the Lions will pay, if not I hope the Lions let him walk next year, or trade him in the draft. He is not worth what he is trying to get.

    It is possible he could be if he keeps improving, but I don’t see him improving enough to be worth top five money

  8. As a lifelong Lion’s fan, as much as I like Avril, I’d rather let him go. He had one very good year (in a contract year which screams warning), and benefits greatly from playing next to great players on his line. I’d rather save the cap space and trade him for a pick.

  9. Who is he about to stomp on in that picture? Ha, just kidding. He’s not an A-hole like Suh.

  10. Let him go. He’s not worth the kind of money that he wants. He had 11 sacks and lojack and young had 8 sacks together with far less playing time. Its the team and the scheme not the player.

  11. Listen, Avril is one of the best d-linemen on the Lions roster. If you look at Suh’s sacks his first year (the 10) most of them were because Cliff brought pressure off the edge and the qb walked stepped up and into Suh for the easy sack. Avril also has a knack for causing turnovers. That said he is asking for a bit too much money. While he is good he is not quite at the elite, fearsome DE level. And frankly the Lions do have enough depth at DE that they don’t have to cave to his demands. This one is not going to be settled anytime soon as both sides believe they have leverage.

  12. I’m a big fan of Avril, however he did only have one good season so to me it would be hard to commit top 5 DE money when he just hasn’t been that productive for long. He’s good but I think his agent has him believing he’s in the class of a Peppers and Ware.

  13. I have heard from some knowledgeable football people who say he’s their BEST defensive lineman.

  14. There seems to be mixed feelings among Lions’ fans. I only saw him play in one full game last year against the 49ers, and he made some nice plays (eating up blockers and so forth) but he also missed a lot of contains on running plays.

    How important is he to Lions fans? Is he one of those “we got to get him back” type of guys or is he “we’d like to, but if we lose him it’s better than breaking the bank and losing depth down the road”?

  15. seems to me like Avril over values himself all the other starters have been able to work out extentions that both sides deem fair but yet hes “far ” apart with the team sounds like a guy thats expendable trade him while he has value

  16. If they structure his salary & bonus right, they can free up some additional cap space. That’s a deal they could probably get done before the draft – if they want to.

    I wonder what they think they’ll get for him on draft day?

  17. The problem with this situation is that other teams would over pay for him and Cliff knows that. The Lion’s aren’t going to over pay any of their players. Same situation as Eric Wright except Eric Wright isn’t good enough to franchise, and that’s why the Bucs are stuck with an above average CB making over $5 million per year. With Cliff I’m sure he’d get in the neighborhood of $10 million per year from another team, but Lion’s I think are looking closer to about $7 million per year.

  18. My recollection this reason Avril had some great games, and mediocre games when he went up against less than elite right tackles. As several other people have stated I think he is overvaluing himself because of the stats he put up last year, but I also believe those were aided by his fellow defensive linemates. If he was on a team with a less talented group of defensive players I doubt he would have had the numbers he achieved last year. Part of his success should be attributed to all of the attention Suh received last year after the success he had in his rookie year, and I wish that Cliff would look at that and realize how fortunate he was last season. Also, if megastars like Suh and Stafford (and let’s don’t forget Nate Burleson) can restructure their contracts to the team then I don’t see why Cliff doesn’t be less greedy. Plus let’s not forget that Stephen Tulloch (whom has consistent career statistics for a much longer period of time can take $1 million less than his career numbers would dictate it seems like Cliff could take a little less to stay with the team that loves him and he loves. All that being said, I can’t understand why he would want an enormous payday, so that you can provide for his family in the event that we have a devastating career ending injury. It is a tough call, but how many millions does any one person need in order to be set for life if you have more than a box of rocks for intelligence.

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