For the last two years, Cliff Avril has worked on one-year contracts. And while he said he was close to working out a long-term deal with the Lions last year, the soon-to-be free agent defensive end said he’s not sure how much longer he’ll be there.
Avril told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that he’s had minimal contact with the Lions, after they decided not to use the franchise tag on him for a second straight year.
“[This week will] give me a good idea of what’s going on, if I’ll be here or if I’ll be gone,” Avril said. “This week will definitely gauge that, I guess.”
The lack of contact could easily be viewed as a sign, especially at a time when Avril is one of the top available options at a need position.
Though Michael Johnson and Anthony Spencer were tagged, the 26-year-old Avril goes into a market with players such as Paul Kruger and Michael Bennett and older players such as Dwight Freeney, John Abraham and Osi Umenyiora.
Avril had 9.5 sacks last year, a solid follow-up to his 11 the year before. And while it’s time to get paid, he also said too much was made of the suggestion he wanted Mario Williams money, saying he was simply agreeing with a suggestion rather than requesting it himself.
“I didn’t say I wanted Mario Williams money, I’m like, ‘Who wouldn’t want his money?’ ” Avril said. “The guy asked me, ‘Mario made this amount of money, is that something [you’d want]?’ I’m like, ‘Shoot, wouldn’t you want it? Who wouldn’t want that deal?’ But people take it further than that.”
In the next week, he’ll know if the Lions want to give him Cliff Avril money, or whether he’s going to have to use part of someone else’s to move.