Lions say ball is in Avril’s court


The good news is that there are indeed members of the Detroit Lions defensive line who haven’t gotten in trouble over the past year.  The bad news is that one of them remains not under contract.

Defensive end Cliff Avril, an unrestricted free agent whose movement is limited by the franchise tag, has yet to accept his one-year franchise tender.  He wants a long-term deal, and the Lions apparently aren’t inclined to give in to his demands.

“Obviously, we have the tender on Cliff, and he’s welcome to sign that anytime he wants,” Lions president Tom Lewand said Wednesday, via Anwar Richardson of  “We’ll continue discussion on whether we can convert that into something on a long-term basis, but really in many ways of the tender, the ball is in his court.”

The two sides have a deadline of July 16 for negotiating a long-term deal.  Thereafter, Avril may sign a one-year contract only.

He will receive the full amount of the $10.6 million franchise tender as long as he shows up and signs the contract in the days preceding Week One of the regular season.  Unless, of course, the Lions rescind the tender.

In that regard, the ball remain in the Lions’ court.  And they continue to have the right to take their ball and go home, putting Avril on the open market weeks after the big money has finished flowing.

13 responses to “Lions say ball is in Avril’s court

  1. We’re already in enough cap trouble with so many pre-2011 ultra-high round picks. Lets not get into more with a man who had one great year in a system that practically hands out sacks. Lets please both sides and work out a trade! I hear St Louis has a couple picks..

  2. Avril is an underrated member of the Detroit D-Line. If you look at most of Suh’s sacks in his rookie year, most of them occured because of Avril’s pressure on the outside. QBs would feel the heat, then step up in the pocket for an easy Suh sack. This past year Avril not only demonstrated consistent speed on the outside, but the ability to strip the ball for fumbles as well. True, he is playing in a Wide-9 system designed to accentuate his speed rush ability, but I would argue he is the most disruptive force on the dline. And let’s not forget on the other side KVB isn’t getting any younger. In conclusion, Avril is larger underrated and overlooked by most of the league, but I am still not certain he is worth the kind of money he is asking.

  3. Way to open the Avril story with more haterade!

    Can’t help but wonder if they’re trying to deal Avril someplace in hopes of shoring up either the defensive backfield or the offensive line.

    I’d prefer Avril stays and signs a long term deal that opens up some cap space.

  4. He’s a solid player, he’s just not worth the kind of money he seems to want.

  5. “One year wonder with a huge cast around him, I’d let him go to Buffalo.”

    Why would the Bills have interest in Avril? We added 2 better DEs this offseason already. The Bills front office is already going to have to cut good players from their Dline when the rosters go to 53.

  6. Tough situation. Avril sees guys out there with fewer sacks generating more guaranteed dollars than probably what the Lions are offering him. And Lions see anchor players (Stafford, Suh, Delmas, etc.) that will have to be paid starting next year.

    Welcome to the real world Detroit, you now have players worth paying that you may be unable to keep.

  7. I am a huge Lion’s fan. And. Cliff Avril is not worth that kind of money. He hadn’t done anything for us until last year. How could he possibly expect Osi money after that. Maybe one more year at the same level of play he could demand that.

  8. As a hybrid rookie avrils pass rush and fumble causing abilities were evident and he played sparingly. This guy is first class, great vet leadership yet still young, and extremely reliable. Evidenced by the lack of 10 Plus sack seasons any Detroit Lions defensive end has had since Porchet left. the lions would be incredibly stupid to let Avril walk or not even signed into a long-term deal I do however agree that this is a business decision and that if the two sides cannot meet the tender needs to be signed and the contract played out however I agree with the lions that their focus of signing and long-term has not changed and nor should ithe lions desperately need to keep a well drafted player was developed on their team due to the lack of development of prior draft classes a.k.a. the no one era also an elite pass rusher is needed in the NFL and cannot count solely on two first-round defensive tackles to provide that kind of pressure with KV be getting up in age I think it is paramount the lions secure avril, Lawrence Jackson and even Willie young. Obviously Jackson and Young won’t command the kind of money that Avril does but it is still very important to keep the squad together. avril happens to be one month younger than young

  9. Two words why the lions should not worry about signing him long-term this year- “WILLIE” & “YOUNG”

  10. Willie Young can do half the job for a quarter the price. I loved watching 7th round pick Willie Young putting 1st round pick Tyron Smith on his back last year on the way to sacking Romo!

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