Lions, Cliff Avril $2 million a year apart in contract talks

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The Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril still have quite a bit of work to do if they’re going to come to terms before the July 16 deadline for franchise players to sign long-term contract extensions.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Avril is asking for about $2 million a year more than the Lions are offering. Avril is looking for a four-year, $42 million deal with most of that money guaranteed, and although the Lions are engaged in talks and have offered several contract proposals, none of the proposals are enough for Avril to be willing to sign.

The good news for both sides is that everyone seems to recognize that there’s no personal acrimony even if they disagree about what a fair contract would constitute.

“I’m fortunate enough to play football for a living, first off,” Avril said. “I’m thankful for that. But I know it’s a business. I knew that from Day 1. I have to do what’s right for my family. I’m a businessman. I can’t be mad. If they lowball you, you can’t be mad, because you ask yourself, if you were them, what would you do initially? So I’m not mad. It’s not personal. I just want to be here long term.”

Avril likes Detroit well enough that he decided to stay in Detroit and work out with a personal trainer in the area during the offseason, while his teammates are working out at the team facility. Eventually, if a long-term deal can’t get worked out, he’ll sign the franchise tender and play the 2012 season at a guaranteed base salary of $10.6 million, knowing that next year he’ll either get franchised again with a pay raise of at least 20 percent, or he’ll work out a long-term deal with the Lions, or he’ll test the market as an unrestricted free agent. None of those are bad options.

So even though the team and the player are $2 million apart, one way or another things are going to work out. Avril sounds content with that.

11 responses to “Lions, Cliff Avril $2 million a year apart in contract talks

  1. WTF? He wants over 10M a year!?!? I love Avril but let him hold out then trade him when he signs the tender. His ego has exploded, NOT worth that much money.

  2. He’s expandable, trade his ass for even a 2nd-3rd pick and we’ll see how he’ll “dominate” once he plays for a D-line that’s much weaker than Detroit’s. He was singled all year long, if he does get traded I can’t wait to see him get doubled, he kinda reminds me of mike wallace, both guys are delusional about their play and both are expandable.

  3. Don’t overpay for him, but who will replace him? LoJack is a FA after this season, Brown hasn’t proved anything in the NFL, KVB is getting towards the end of his career, and Willie Young & Ronnell Lewis aren’t full time DEs.

    As much as I don’t want them to overpay for him, I do believe he plays a huge part on our defense. A 4 yr -42 million contract with 22 million guaranteed isn’t a bad contract for one of the NFLs top 10 Defensive Ends

  4. @detroitrollin22

    I completely agree. That contract laced with incentives based off of performance would be pretty good deal.

  5. 8.5 mill / year with 28 mill guaranteed (4 yr contract) would be the max i’d offer.

  6. Avril is pretty good. But the only reason he had a monster season in 2011 is because the rest of the line had sub-par seasons. There’s only one QB to sack…not everyone can have the glory. This year may be KVB or Fairley’s turn to benefit from the D-line rotation.

  7. Cliffs rookie contract:
    3 years fir 1,634,00
    His 2011 he was paid 2.6 mill
    He wants 5x the amount a year. I say tag him let him prove he is worth that much and then offer him the amount next year he wanted this year. One good year doesnt and wont equate to getting a long term deal. If he doesnt like it refranchise him next year and just trade his ars we wont need him. We can just draft a project player cuz we have good depth anyways.BOOM..
    Go Leo’s

  8. He needs to have a prove it year before he gets paid then again he could tank after he gets paid(he doesnt seem like that kind a guy though) either way the lions should wait a year on the big contract imo.

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