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Lions’ free agency philosophy doesn’t mesh with Avril’s desire to get paid

Avril Getty Images

The Lions plan to be players in free agency — but that doesn’t mean they’ll be payers.  (See what I did there?  Yeah, I know it was lame.  Does admitting it make it any better?  Probably not.)

Team president Tom Lewand recently told the team’s official website (i.e., a press release that reads like an article) that the Lions will be careful when it comes to spending money.

“Free agency is an area where you have to understand the opportunities that are there and understand the risks that are there,” Lewand said.  “When we, in 2010, added guys like Nate Burleson and Kyle Vanden Bosch, those were tremendous value for us.”

The Lions specifically targeted both players because offensive coordinator Scott Linehan had a history with Burleson, and coach Jim Schwartz had a history with Vanden Bosch.  Unlike many first-day signings (and due in part to their age), the players didn’t demand market value.

Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website sums up the philosophy that plenty of teams follow, and that the Lions presumably intend to respect:  “Scoring in free agency isn’t always as easy as identifying the best player available at a position of need and going after him. Most of the time, teams end up overpaying for those services.”

As applied to the Lions, this means they won’t succumb to the temptation to spend on a guy who will generate excitement and create hope (false or otherwise) among the fan base.  Twentyman observes that “[s]ometimes a player simply isn’t the same after a big contract is in hand,” and he points to defensive end Mario Williams as a guy who has not made “a significant difference for the Bills.”

Coincidentally (or not), Avril recently said he’d “love” to get a contract like the one Williams signed last year.  The article/press release/whatever on the team’s official website makes it clear that the Lions won’t get caught up in the rush to overpay Avril or anyone else.

The reality is that the Lions don’t have the cap space to overpay.  And with top-of-the-market value already given to receiver Calvin Johnson and in due time to quarterback Matthew Stafford based on the leverage created by the latter years of their pre-wage scale top-two contracts, the Lions can’t afford to give a large piece of cap pie to folks who never have played for the team.

And for those like Avril who already do.

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10 Responses to “Lions’ free agency philosophy doesn’t mesh with Avril’s desire to get paid”
  1. themagicman1223 says: Feb 17, 2013 11:41 AM

    They have the 5th overall pick, use it on a d-end.

  2. lionbloodwinning says: Feb 17, 2013 11:52 AM

    nothing was twisted. he said “hopefully we can get near that number”

  3. irishgary says: Feb 17, 2013 11:54 AM

    They overpay Stafford and will lose Avril, the only true talent they have is Johnson, a lousy head coach and overall just a piss poor franchise.
    I would hate to be a lions fan.

  4. fuglyflorio says: Feb 17, 2013 12:04 PM

    No matter where he goes Cliff Avril will never be happy with his contract. He’s way too ove- the-top about money. Whoever signs him signs a problem.

  5. drock36 says: Feb 17, 2013 12:06 PM

    If he hasn’t been extended by now he’s not coming back to Detroit.

  6. cometkazie says: Feb 17, 2013 2:00 PM

    This is a hoot.

  7. buffalobills716 says: Feb 17, 2013 2:05 PM

    Come 2 Bills on a cheap price or go. The choice is yours

  8. fievel03 says: Feb 17, 2013 2:10 PM

    Avril’s been too candid about contract desires that don’t mesh with the Lions’ philosophy as well as dropping other little hints here and there (like wanting to play on a grass field rather than field turf). He’s not coming back. He doesn’t want to come back. It will be mutual and both will be better for it.

  9. grudenfan says: Feb 17, 2013 2:17 PM

    I don’t get how Avril is all about the money or is a problem guy. He seems like a very good guy. He just wants to get a huge deal because he won’t get many chances of getting one during his career. I wouldn’t give him one of those kinds of deals, but that doesn’t mean I think he’s a bad guy for wanting one.

  10. butkusditka says: Feb 17, 2013 3:24 PM

    Talent is no longer rare, in an overpopulated planet. Lotsa big dudes runnin fast! Don’t overpay anyone. Not suh, avril, Melton, peppers or Williams. The pats pay one guy…starts with a B…ends in rady. D lineman r a dime a dozen

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