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Avril not talking to Lions, willing to play in a 3-4

Cliff Avril AP

With the official start of free agency four days away and the unofficial launch at midnight tonight, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril is moving closer to becoming former Lions defensive end Cliff Avril.

Avril tells Anwar Richardson of MLive.com that, as of now, the Lions and Avril’s camp aren’t talking.

We haven’t really been talking, but there’s still a few days,” Avril said. “Maybe they will make a strong push, or we’ll make a push with them. At the same time, we haven’t really been talking. Last year, I got franchised, and we didn’t start talking to them until four or five days before that deadline. I don’t know if that’s their way of doing things, but we haven’t been talking.”

If Avril plays elsewhere, he’s willing to move to linebacker in a 3-4 defense.  He’s already been linked to the Browns, and we’ve reported that multiple 3-4 teams are interested in Avril.

“I think I can do it,” Avril said. “I thought I was going to be a 3-4 coming out, obviously. I ended up getting drafted to the Lions at the defensive end position. The weird thing is all the guys out of Purdue from the last few drafts who played end became 3-4 ends. I’m the only one out of all of those guys who played linebacker and became a defensive end. Maybe I’ll join that club, if it’s the case.”

The problem remains that defensive end in a 4-3 often pays more than a 3-4 linebacker. For Avril, though, the real issue will be what any team will pay when it’s time to field offers.

The offers can officially be fielded as of midnight tonight.

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30 Responses to “Avril not talking to Lions, willing to play in a 3-4”
  1. nineroutsider says: Mar 8, 2013 1:04 PM

    I don’t mind converting a 4-3 DE out of college, but I’m not a big fan of doing it with well established 4-3 ends, especial those that play the wide 9 technique or whatever Cunningham runs up there.. If I were a 3-4 team I’d avoid doing that with him.

  2. randolph32 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:04 PM

    He’ll play Center if it pays him more money….can’t blame him, his next game may be his last.

  3. mjkelly77 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:08 PM

    Whatever another team pays, it will be too much in relation to the return. Avril doesn’t play the run well and he can’t bring along Suh or Fairley with him to another team. Caveat emptor.

  4. cardinalsfan87 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:13 PM

    This has bust written all over it after he gets paid.

  5. skinsfan28 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:17 PM

    Hey Cliff – You forgot Ryan Kerrigan was a DE at Purdue and he is becoming a fine 3-4 OLB for the Redskins.

  6. kegrun says: Mar 8, 2013 1:18 PM

    Picking him up and paying him to much sounds like a mistake Atlanta is gonna make.

  7. fievel03 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:21 PM

    Can get to the quarterback, but can’t stop the run. Typical Detroit DL.

  8. isphet71 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:21 PM

    I wonder how many NFL free agents in the last decade have REALLY been worth what they got paid. I’m guessing very few – maybe 1 in 4 at best.

  9. phillygreen20 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:22 PM

    Come to the Eagles’ nest!!

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 8, 2013 1:23 PM

    So are the Lions not on the same page with Avril regarding the process? Why is he so confused as to how they do things, it seems like he should have a comfortable understanding one way or another. All 53 players each and every year can be looked at to see details of how their process went down, so he should have a pretty solid idea of how they do business based on hundreds of previous examples including his own contract dealings.

    Sounds like he is just trying to find creative ways to add pressure to the situation in hopes that he can stir up a good result. Either way, not a good sign that is the sentiment he is operating from.

  11. barnesaintnoble says: Mar 8, 2013 1:25 PM

    True. He is athletic but the double teams on Suh made him look much better than what he actually is.

  12. kcdet says: Mar 8, 2013 1:27 PM

    Really cant wait to see what type of money Avril actually ends up.

  13. wryly1 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:33 PM

    Not much transition necessary. He knows how to get to the passer beating an OT or TE – and that’s his great value -especially in a 3-4 Nobody’s going to pay him what he’ll get for that to be a ‘run stopper’.

  14. flipadelphia says: Mar 8, 2013 1:36 PM

    As a Lions fan I hold no ill will for the guy and don’t blame him for trying to get paid. I think he did the best he could for Detroit which was not worth what he’s asking. Detroit just is not going to pay him what he thinks he’s worth but I’m sure another team will step up. Good luck Cliff.

  15. rickrock6661982 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:37 PM

    And until he has any other interest than getting paid, time will not be wasted.

    Not that I blame him..but Detroit is better off letting him go and having someone else make this mistake

  16. kvanhorn87 says: Mar 8, 2013 1:45 PM

    Dream team part 2 has 44 million in cap space to use

  17. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 8, 2013 1:47 PM

    Never sign a Lion Free Agent

  18. Stupid Lions Fan says: Mar 8, 2013 1:52 PM

    GOOD. I can’t wait to see how much $$$ some dumb team pays him.

  19. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Mar 8, 2013 1:56 PM

    mjkelly77 says:
    Mar 8, 2013 1:08 PM
    Whatever another team pays, it will be too much in relation to the return. Avril doesn’t play the run well and he can’t bring along Suh or Fairley with him to another team. Caveat emptor.

    Exactly. Good riddance. Let another team overpay for him. Lawrence Jackson will have a better season next year than Avril did last year.

  20. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Mar 8, 2013 2:46 PM

    ilovefoolsball says:
    Mar 8, 2013 1:47 PM
    Never sign a Lion Free Agent

    Never say stupid things on the internet

  21. 4sharita says: Mar 8, 2013 2:57 PM

    Lawrence Jackson is a beast! Lions offered 3yr/27 mil to Avril last year and he turned it down. If a team pays him more than 9 mil a year, they’re idiots. I really wouldn’t give him more than 7 mil per…

  22. brownoholic says: Mar 8, 2013 3:06 PM

    I have a strong feeling my Brownies overpay thos guy…

  23. jaginmi says: Mar 8, 2013 3:21 PM

    If your main complaint on Avril is that he is not good against the run (on which I agree with you) why would you be so high on suh and fairly? The only time they stop the run is when the running back is 3 yards into the end zone.

  24. obsession55 says: Mar 8, 2013 3:35 PM

    I know Ryan Grigson is a smart guy, but hes also a Purdue guy! Please dont let Avril’s Boilermaker roots throw you off…we dont need to overpay this guy

  25. goldenperspective says: Mar 8, 2013 4:16 PM

    I would sign him, but not allow him to wear his red contacts. This isn’t peewee league where kids get intimidated, you just look dumb.

  26. jprcox says: Mar 8, 2013 4:55 PM

    I think these types of players are going to find teams unwilling to make big payouts like they did before. So many teams being successful with good drafting and getting the reward of rookie contracts.

    Teams like the Jets, who have leveraged their future only end up in a mess later. I think Avril will get paid the most of the DE class, but I dont think he or other players will get what they really expect.

  27. ezmoover says: Mar 8, 2013 5:03 PM

    Anthony Spencer was a DE at Purdue and then was converted to a 3-4 OLB at Dallas. Just sayin’.

  28. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 8, 2013 5:28 PM

    I would sign him, but not allow him to wear his red contacts. This isn’t peewee league where kids get intimidated, you just look dumb

    i thing yr talking about kyle vander-whatever

  29. dabearstjm says: Mar 8, 2013 5:38 PM

    His deficiency against the run is too much for me to feel comfortable giving him big money but I’m sure the Browns will take a look

  30. lionhunter909 says: Mar 8, 2013 6:10 PM

    As a Lions fan who has been following Avril and his drama for awhile now, I would say this…..he seems almost obsessed with the amount of money he will get. In the end does it really matter whether or not he gets a $22 mil or a $25 mil or a $33 mil deal?

    Wtf? This is what I cannot stand about some of these pro athletes and their enormous egos. No doubt Avril will cash in somewhere and he is a good guy and probably an above average DE, but he seems to have lost sight of the forest from the trees. He will no doubt be a very wealthy man soon(actually he probably already is considering he was paid $10.6 mil last year) and if he manages his money properly he will no doubt have a very nice lifestyle forever, but money is not everything. I’m sure there are many players who would play for less to be on a good team. So go ahead Cliff and go to Cleveland if you want, but chances are you are just trading one losing organization for another.
    Ok, done ramblin’…..

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