Defensive end Cliff Avril’s exile from the Lions has come to an end.
Avril has been away from the Lions since the team placed the franchise tag on him in February as he first tried to negotiate a long-term contract with the team and then moved on to staying away from the start of camp after not being able to come to terms on one. Avril knew he would have to sign his $10.6 million contract eventually as he’s barred from signing a longer deal until after this season and eventually came on Sunday. Avril sent out a Twitter message announcing his return to work:
"If ur heart is filled with faith then you can't fear"... back to work let's get it #WIN—
Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) August 05, 2012
Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website confirms that Avril has reported for work on Sunday morning, one day after defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made it clear that he was itching to get the defensive end into camp. Now Avril is back and the Lions can step up their efforts to build a strong defensive line that will have to cover for some weaker spots elsewhere on the defense.
Avril, who had 11 sacks last season, will be a big part of that effort.