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Cliff Avril glad he waited to sign until after his son’s birthday

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For Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, the decision to hold off on signing the franchise tender had less to do with any unhappiness about his contract status than about prioritizing a birthday party over training camp.

That would be the first birthday party of his son, Xavier, who turned 1 on Friday, and Avril says he’s glad he skipped the first week of training camp so that he could spend the week with Xavier.

“It was amazing,” Avril told MLive.com. “It’s always worth it, it’s his first birthday. He comes first and I was fortunate enough to get to spend his first birthday with him. We had a blast, took him to the museum. He didn’t care for it, but we had fun. We threw a party for him last wee and he had a blast there.”

Now that the birthday celebration is over, Avril is ready to get back to work, and ready to practice in front of Detroit fans, whom Avril is hoping will understand why he took his time about signing the franchise tender.

“I hope they don’t boo me,” Avril said. “That’s the only thing I’m hoping for honestly, but other than that, hopefully everybody is happy that the team is together.”

Avril, who joked that “soreness” is the only thing he missed from the first week of training camp, will get a salary of $10.6 million this season. Next year he’ll either become an unrestricted free agent or receive a guaranteed salary of $12.7 million if the Lions franchise him again. Which means, even though Avril didn’t get the long-term deal he was hoping for, he won’t have to worry about whether he can save enough for Xavier’s college fund.

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14 Responses to “Cliff Avril glad he waited to sign until after his son’s birthday”
  1. hyzers says: Aug 5, 2012 6:56 PM

    This was a win-win for both the Lions and Avril. The Lions were able to give Willie Young first team reps all week while Avril was able to hang out with his son and miss half the grind of training camp. Glad to see there is no hard feelings on either side. Should be a fun year. Go Lions.

  2. steelers4385 says: Aug 5, 2012 6:56 PM

    How horrible to sit around for months and wonder if he should sign a 10 mil ONE season tender.

  3. ee00ee says: Aug 5, 2012 7:02 PM

    lol who takes a 1 year old to a museum for his birthday?? Ok, who else…

  4. jwreck says: Aug 5, 2012 7:08 PM

    How horrible to sit around for months and wonder if he should sign a 10 mil ONE season tender.
    ____
    #firstteamallconferenceproblems

  5. skoobyfl says: Aug 5, 2012 7:08 PM

    I can’t buy that an adult ready to makes fortune couldn’t schedule a B-day party around training camp, the kids is 1 not 11.

  6. funktron2x says: Aug 5, 2012 7:08 PM

    There was no wondering. He was going to sign it all along. He just decided to take the first week off til after is son’s first birthday (you know, in case you missed the article above).

  7. thekiy says: Aug 5, 2012 7:13 PM

    Bottom line, he’s back at camp and didn’t miss too much considering he is a veteran.

    No hard feelings, and #92 is going to back stalking QBs this season. GO LIONS!

  8. rodeoclownclint24 says: Aug 5, 2012 8:26 PM

    Exact opposite of Andy Reid..

  9. EJ says: Aug 5, 2012 8:26 PM

    There is nothing like spending time with your baby for their first birthday, I’m assuming there is nothing like signing a 10.6 million dollar contract too!
    Lucky man!

  10. silverdeer says: Aug 5, 2012 9:30 PM

    As a father of two I can appreciate wanting to spend your child’s 1st birthday with them. However, there are two things to consider going forward. One is that kids don’t really develop long term memory until they are at least 2 and the other is that his child’s birthday isn’t going to change, so I have to ask the question… Is he going to plan on missing the first week of training camp for the rest of his career?

  11. icewalker946 says: Aug 5, 2012 10:07 PM

    He’s 1 year old. He won’t remember this party just like he won’t remember to go to the bathroom before he pees his pants.

    Mr. Avril just wanted to miss a bit of camp. Totally OK with that. He’s a vet. Same coaching staff. He’s still going to play well.

    Don’t pass it off on a 1 year old.

    And before you say it, no, there is NO WAY I’d say that to his face!

  12. schmitty2 says: Aug 5, 2012 10:38 PM

    Yeah…nice excuse Cliff and BTW great lesson to to teach your son-Hold out when your scheduled to make over 10 mil which is WAY more than you deserve

  13. whoisadamjones says: Aug 6, 2012 9:53 AM

    rodeoclownclint24 says:
    Aug 5, 2012 8:26 PM
    Exact opposite of Andy Reid..
    ________

    C’mon man. This comment is completely inappropriate, based on the timing, and for the record, I did give it a thumbs down. However, the more I think about it, the more I realize he actually has a good point, ill-timed and classless though it may be.

    We’re always hearing about celebrities and important people in the public sphere who have real screwed up kids because their dads were too busy to spend time with them. So, if I can say this without any disrespect to the Reid family at a very difficult time for them (Not totally sure if that’s possible), it is nice to see a dad who knows when he needs to take a day/week off and spend some time with his kid. And if Avril is this committed of a father when his kid is one year old, I’m sure he’ll definitely be there for him when it really matters

  14. jacksprat57 says: Sep 4, 2012 10:01 AM

    “Yeah…nice excuse Cliff and BTW great lesson to to teach your son-Hold out when your scheduled to make over 10 mil which is WAY more than you deserve.” –schmitty2

    Cliff wasn’t making excuses, nor did he need to do so, as he wasn’t an employee of the Detroit Lions until AFTER he signed with them. It’s only a hold-out when you already have a contract.

    Before then, he doesn’t owe either Bill Ford or Schmitty so much as another two minutes of his life, although I’m sure that he’d shake at least one of their hands and wish them all the best in future.

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