Cliff Avril says he’ll “probably” skip start of training camp

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Lions defensive end and franchise player Cliff Avril wanted a long-term contract. He didn’t get one before Monday’s deadline for franchise players to sign extensions, and will have to either play out the season on his one-year, $10.6 million tender, or miss games.

Avril hinted to the Detroit Free Press after the deadline passed that he might not report for the start of training camp. Appearing Wednesday on SportsCenter, Avril all but confirmed that he’ll be a no-show for late-July practices.

“Probably won’t be there first day, that’s for sure,” Avril said. “I have to sit down with my agent and figure out when’s a good time, if we’re even gonna show up.”

Believing he lacks long-term financial security, Avril explained that he fears injury and skipping some or all of camp would be a business decision.

“This is probably one of the only times in your career that you’ll ever get a chance to, you know, opt out [and say] I’m not going to camp or whatnot,” Avril said. “But it also goes into with injuries and stuff like that.

“You know, you don’t want to get hurt.”

Avril had good luck with his health last season, appearing in all 16 games. He missed three games in 2010 with a quadriceps injury, and three more in 2009 with a sprained left MCL.

21 responses to “Cliff Avril says he’ll “probably” skip start of training camp

  1. Yup…no job security, can’t take a chance on getting hurt. The Lions should understand this, and let Cliff sit on the bench this year, to make sure he doesn’t suffer a career-ending injury.

    Let Willie Young start, and Lawrence Jackson play the rotation along with that rookie they drafted late because he was a godly pass rusher.

    I suspect that 3 years/$30 million will start looking really good about November.

    It’s a business, you know…and if Cliff is gonna leave next year, you really need to give his replacements the playing time.

  2. Classy interview by Avril yesterday on espn. It is a business, which means it’s about the bottom line (implies it’s not about trophies) – so you can’t blame Cliff if he makes a business decision and decides to stay away as long as he can without impacting his wallet.

    It’s definitely about trophies for the fans, but you see how that is definitely not the case for everyone in a given football organization.

  3. If some of the other DEs on the roster are looking good in camp, the Lions could just pull the tag and let Avril go find work elsewhere. I’m sure Mayhew could find some better ways to spend that $10.6 million.

  4. He had $20M guarnateed on the table, for just a three year deal. He wants to avoid injury? Retire. Otherwise you are going to be paid a bunch of money, you better get yourself ready to perform.
    Funny…he has been willing to go through training camps all these past seasons playing on his rookie, third round pick contract, and didn’t fear injury then. But now he’s worried?!
    His agent is an idiot, and Cliff would do well to avoid any discussions with him.

  5. Let’s see, he’s got a $10.6 million tender to play the upcoming season and he’s worried about long-term security. Even if he lived off ‘just’ $250,000 a year, he’d be set for the next 42+ years. Some worry.

  6. He really believes there isn’t someone out there that is eager to replace him? All of these guys have a large ego but there are certainly others that would love to play.

  7. When he sits down with his agent, it should be to tell him he’s fired. Should have signed that contract, and should sign the franchise tender. What does he think he’s going to prove now that the deadline has passed and he can’t get a contract until next year?

    $30M/$20M guaranteed over 3 yrs is wealthy, Cliff. If you played up to it you’d get another one, look at Peppers as the example. The guy was already 30yrs old when Chicago gave him a 6yr/$91M contract. Could have played out your 3yr deal, been rich, then struck an even bigger one if you deserved it. Poor decision.

  8. I think it is amusing when people like Avril for the Lions or the 49ers’ Dashon Goldson have good years, and then start holdong out. I don’t think either one of them are worth the money they want, but they don’t get the fact that neither of them are that much better than the rest of their team mates to demand it. They are going to hurt themselves eventually with this type of behavior. Just play. You will get what you deserve.

  9. “You know, you don’t want to get hurt.”
    I can understand that. But Avril also said that the negotiations were so close but “they” didn’t get it done. Well, Cliff, “you” didn’t get it done. So now “you” have no long-term security. The Lions’ offer of $30 million for 3 years with $20 million of it guaranteed was more than fair. And if you turn out to be the stud that you think you are, the next contract would have been even bigger.
    So now you’re ready to depart from your normal training regimen. And you’ll probably play more tentatively, worrying about injury. And all of it means is that you may not play as well, negatively affecting your future marketability. Or it could result in the very thing you’re trying to avoid, injury.
    I used to say that when you’re at the edge of the cliff, it’s good to have Cliff on the edge. Now I just think that Cliff is at the edge of the cliff.

  10. I don’t understand why he would hold out. He’s not allowed to negotiate a contract until the end of the year anyways, how does this help? Your more likely to get injured by playing out of shape than by practicing. He’s not worth what he was asking for, he’s not even worth what they were offering. Dude just sounds like a giant baby who didn’t get his way.

  11. Players want this magical long term security (5-6 years) yet start whining, Revis, MJD, Briggs, Osi, about being underpaid when the market has passed their big contract. They can’t have it both ways.

  12. 7th rounder Willie Young had the most impressive sack all of last year between the two.

    Facing 9th overall pick Tyron Smith, Willie Young gave him the Reggie White inside power arm and sent Tyron Smith flying flat on his back on the way to sacking Romo.

    All of Avril’s sacks came on speed rushes.

  13. rodgersrodgersheisking says: Jul 19, 2012 2:06 PM

    Problem with this is that it sort of implies he may not play as hard during the season as a ‘business decision’ and impact his payout he so dearly wants.


    Exactly….which also implies that he might have a down production in a contract year. When will these guys learn. The team is just doing what is best for them. If not showing up for camp was best for him then I’d say do it. But it’s not. It puts him behind and some might say more vulnerable to injury because he will be behind the rest of the team in conditioning when he finally does report. It’s a big sign of immaturity. He has no control over the franchise tag. He’s going to make a top 5 salary this year. He should just focus on preparing for this season like he has no other. And try to have a career year. Chances are they aren’t going to franchise him again.

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