Report: Cliff Avril, Lions break off negotiations

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The deadline to sign players with franchise tags to long-term contracts is creeping ever closer and it looks like we can stop holding our breath from news out of Detroit.

Albert Breer of reports that the Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril have broken off negotiations on a new contract. Barring a really last-minute change of heart on either side, that means Avril will be set to make $10.6 million this season. Avril hasn’t signed his tender, but it seems unlikely that he would hold out into the regular season and risk missing out on that money.

Holding out wouldn’t help Avril get a contract. Avril and any other tagged player who doesn’t reach agreement on a contract before 4 p.m. ET are not permitted to sign a long-term deal with their teams until after the end of the 2012 season.

Avril could be franchised again next year at a cost north of $12 million, something that would come into play if he matches or exceeds last year’s production. Avril had 11 sacks, an interception and six forced fumbles for the Lions in 2011.

21 responses to “Report: Cliff Avril, Lions break off negotiations

  1. The guy is playing with others that make him look better, so I wouldn’t pay him either.

    I’m Fairley sure he is going to be tagged again, I think Suh.

  2. Cliff: you don’t really have leverage in this situation. You play next to some of the better dlineman in the league and you’re going to have to prove again that last year wasn’t the result of teams focusing on Suh, Fairley and Corey Williams.

    You’re a good player, don’t get me wrong. But the Lions aren’t going to overpay you.

  3. After the Tulloch signing, didn’t see this one happening. Avril is simply asking for way more than the Lions are willing to spend on him. The tight cap years ahead and the prospect of a new deal for Stafford made this one impossible.

  4. Considering he has not yet signed his tender, couldn’t they hypothetically rescind his offer (which would instantly make him a Free Agent) then go ahead and sign him to a multi-year deal?

  5. Cut him and start Willie Young and then with the money saved go after a good corner after the season like a Dominique Rodgers Cromartie, Derek Cox or Aqib Talib

  6. “Avril had 11 sacks, an interception and six forced fumbles for the Lions in 2011.”

    Wow, that is a really good year. It helps when you have Vanden… and Suh to occupy blockers up front, but that isn’t his fault. He still had to make the plays he made, and that stat line is impressive, especially the FFs. Good luck man.

  7. Welp, can’t be roses and buttercups with every player’s contract status. Big hope now is that Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young continue their excellent play over more minutes in case Cliff decides he wants to leave after the season. He’s got to see how many names are up for FA in 2013. The good news is that he has no incentive to slack off, he will have to continue his play to get the dollars he wants.

  8. As a Lions fan, I’m glad this happened. This will be another contract year for Avril and he will have to perform well if he wants his big payday after the season. If he doesn’t put up big numbers, the Lions will have saved a bunch of money on a long-term deal. If he has a monster season, then the Lions will benefit on the field this year. Probably can’t afford to keep him next season, but we have plenty of young guys ready to step up and take his place.

  9. whateverhommie says:
    Jul 16, 2012 3:21 PM
    Out of whack contracts (Megatron) prohibit paying players that SHOULD be payed.


    Are you joking me? Calvin Johnson PROVED he was the best receiver in the NFL last season. What has Cliff Avril proven? Other than he overvalues his contributions to the team?
    I’m glad the Lions front office stood its ground and didn’t break the bank for Avril. They have talented players behind Avril, like Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young. They drafted Ronnell Lewis, who has shown just as much quickness off the line as Avril in early training. Avril believes too much in his own hype, apparently.

    Megatron got paid cause he earned it. Avril didn’t get paid, because he hasn’t earned it.

  10. buckeyeschad says:
    Jul 16, 2012 3:07 PM
    Trade him to the Jags. We will give you a 3rd rounder.


    Ehhh… Avril was originally picked up in the 3rd round by none other than Matt Millen, if that tells you anything. He ain’t gettin’ traded for a 3rd rounder now.

  11. skoobyfl says:

    “The guy is playing with others that make him look better, so I wouldn’t pay him either.”

    I’ve never agreed with this line of thinking. Aren’t defensive ends always engaged in one on one matchups with the opposing teams tackle, regardless of who is lined up at DT? Ends rush from the outside. Every one of Avril’s sacks occurred because he beat the one guy responsible for him. Replace Suh with Joe Schmoe, the matchup is still the same.

  12. Avril earned a lot of compensation, but the cookie jar’s only so big. Lot’s of mouths to feed.
    We’ll see next spring and summer.

  13. When your money becomes bigger than the team, you can leave. I love me some Cliff and will be sad to see him go but at the end of this year I hope we don’t jeopardize the team moving forward by breaking the bank on him.

  14. Enough of this talk about avril – let’s get on with the important stuff – like when the lions are doing that commercial for “play60” and right behind the bus i think you can see cop lights flashing – the cops must have thought it would be nice to arrest the whole team at one time – LOL

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