Cliff Avril on his contract: “It’s not like I’m making pennies”


When Cliff Avril turned down a reported three-year, $30 million contract offer to stay with the Lions, he did so because he expected to be one of the NFL’s most sought after free agents in 2013. But it didn’t work out the way he expected, and Avril signed a relatively modest two-year, $13 million contract with the Seahawks.

Now in the Super Bowl with Seattle, Avril says he’s fine with how things turned out.

“It’s not like I’m making pennies,” Avril said. “Again, I can’t complain. I’m fortunate enough to be where I’m at right now. There’s definitely no bitterness.”

Pressed by reporters if he was upset about playing the 2012 season in Detroit on the franchise tag, and then getting less than expected in 2013, Avril said he has no complaints.

“No, it’s a business,” Avril said. “I’ve been saying that from years past. It’s a business. I understand it. It is what it is. It’s working out for me. I can’t complain. Once again, I’m here at the Super Bowl talking to you guys. I can’t complain at all.”

As Avril noted last week on Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, his two-year contract with the Seahawks could be just the first contract he signs in Seattle. Avril said he would love to stay in Seattle for the long haul.

“I would love, I would love to,” Avril told Mike Florio. “I definitely don’t want to go into free agency again. But,you know, we’ll see how it goes, how it works out, but I would definitely love to be out here, you know it’s a great place to be, stadium is amazing, team is good, I would love to be out here.”

Avril sounds like a player who knows that $6.5 million a year, playing on a good team with players and coaches he likes, is nothing to complain about.

37 responses to “Cliff Avril on his contract: “It’s not like I’m making pennies”

  1. I’ve never really known much about Avril, but this guy obviously gets it more than most. Sure, he could have made another 3 million this year, but he’s in the Super Bowl. Something you can’t buy… Theoretically at least…

  2. I’m sure Mr. Avril is a genuinely nice person, but I laughed pretty hard at the contract he got after all his “Mario Williams money” talk he spewed out before, during and after his franchise tag season. It’s hard to tell how much was being fed to him from his agent, but sounded jaded.

    But he’s obviously enjoying a better ride in Seattle than Detroit, so congrats on that.

  3. Avril’s attitude towards staying in Seattle is evidence to support the long known desire for players to get out of minnysoda. If you notice, MN year in and out has one of the highest payrolls in the league due to having to grossly overpay top tier players to stay in the “Land of 10k Trailer Park Cesspools.” Its hard to stay playing for a proverbial bottom feeder team with a 53 season history of abject failure.

  4. Another, in the long line of “wins” for John Schneider. I am sure we will now hear from the “on our couch this time ever year” 4-12 Vikings fans about how good Cordarelle is compared to Harvin.

  5. I thought of him as Detroit’s version of former Viking and flake Falcon Ray Edwards, and laughed when he got the franchise tag and talked Mario Williams money as well. Now I am sort of legitimately confused about how Avril, Bennett and Dumervil all found their way to the open market last year and collectively earned just slightly more than the $15 mil/year average Mario pegged with the Bills 2 years ago.

    Call it luck or call it a plan, but there’s no arguing how many bargains Seattle has carried on their roster this season (Baldwin, Tate, Russell Wilson, Sherman, Thurmond on rookie deals; Avril & Bennett on the cheap). That almost makes up for all the money and draft picks they’ve spent over the years on Vikings receivers (Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and once upon a time Nate Burleson…as payback for stealing Hutchinson! )

  6. The Jags could have had this guy. He is a local kid and made it clear he would like to play here. He was the right age and at the right price in a position if need. Cliff said the jags never contacted his agent on a local radio program. Jags are clueless…

  7. The League has gone weird, IMO…

    You have defenders at the top of their games barely making $7M/year, and then you have average QB’s, who have never accomplished anything in the league getting $100M contracts.

    I really hope the top defense beats the top offense in the SB. I am soooo tired of hearing that defense doesn’t matter, etc.

    With all the changes they have made which make throwing the ball and catching it so much easier than years gone by, wouldn’t it be nice to see a defense dominate?

  8. Seattle getting Avril AND Michael Bennett for well below value after already having a great defensive line, while so many other teams are starving for pass rushers (and signing guys like Andre Carter mid season) almost gave me an aneurism. No use crying over spilled milk though. Respect to Seattle for recognizing what’s important.

  9. It’s great to see good things happen to good people. When he was in Detroit, he would occasionally hit up fans on social media and ask if anybody wanted to go bowling with him lol. Hated to see him go, because as others have commented, Dude just gets it.

  10. Put yourself in his shoes, given a chance to get out of Detroit, would you take a pay cut?

    Now he has a chance to add a Superbowl ring to his bling collection and he no longer has to put up with the Lions, that’s worth something.

  11. Wow, not only a great player, he also is happy with the contract he signed. Wish there were more players with his attitude. Hope Seattle extends his contract. Go

  12. LOL at Packer fans who are so obsessed with Minnesota, they don’t even know who Cliff Avril played for before the Seahawks….

  13. Lions fan. I’m happy he’s succeeding but to the posts that he seems like a good guy…he was a headache as “the guy” on our Dline that wanted his big time payday.

    No he’s a rotational piece and just another name on a D full of studs. Who’s not going to enjoy leaving a losing culture to be on a winning team that’s in the SB?

    If he stays in Sea it’s because others starts on the team are cap casualties and he’ll resign at another team friendly deal knowing he was never truly elite.

  14. The ironic thing is that getting paid a few million less probably ends up helping guys manage their money better.

  15. Very easy to say now that he is sitting in the super bowl circus. It works out for some players to take a 17 million dollar hit to play on a good team. I’m thinking he would have a different take if the team didn’t achieve their goal.

    That all being said Avril needs a new ticket broker if he just dropped 17 million to go to the superbowl. Avril spends money like a rapper.

  16. What’s interesting is that because of the Seahawks depth and the rotation of the defensive line, Avril and Michael Bennett are in on barely over half of the defensive snaps. They questioned that at first but have now come to embrace it and noticed they don’t get nearly the wear and tear on their bodies they have in the past and are still feeling strong as the season draws to a close. Just another sign the the Seahawks have a great plan and really seem to know what they are doing when it comes to roster construction.

  17. That’s refreshing to hear, especially from a player on the Seahawks. He took a chance on free agency and it didn’t turn out like he expected, but he knows that’s in the past and he’s not going to keep complaining.

  18. I give Cliff Avril a lot of comment for his statement, “it’s not like I’m making pennies.”

    Avril played for the Detroit Lions so his decision to take less money to join the Seattle Seahawks was a great business move.

    Playing more games means more television time and more film to prove your worth. Come Sunday he will be playing in a game that hundreds of millions of fans will be watching.

    I applaud a player like Avril for keeping things in perspective.

  19. I’m not sure if the league keeps stats on this, but, Avril has to have the highest strip-to-sack ratio I’ve ever seen. Dude just has a knack of getting his hand onto the ball and forcing the huge play.

  20. Avril didn’t leave Detroit knowing that he would be going to Seattle but making less money. He left Detroit because he though he deserved 12+ million a year and thought he could get it as a FA, meanwhile Detroit was only offering him an avg of 10 million per year. Now he obviously loves being able to play for championships and being on a better team and play for less money, but it’s not like that was his mindset originally. He’s more of complimentary player anyway, he’s always been surrounded by other taletned pass rushers.

  21. Cudos to Pete Carroll and John Schneider for creating an environment that guys want to work in. You have to like your job and your boss to be good. After this season, every free agent will be looking to join the Seahawks even if they have to give them a discount. Nice!

  22. Played/paid well and likely to get extension offer reflecting his value, yet one that the team can afford within confines of the cap.

    The Cap is the only real problem on the horizon that the Hawks need to figure out as all that young talent will be getting increased pay checks in two years………some this next season………Good Luck to John/Pete in working through that.

  23. LOL . They aren’t going to be able to resign that guy . All those rookie contracts and FA’s coming up are going to drive their capologist bananas .

  24. I think Seattle might surprise you with what they can do. Since they all want to stay in Seattle and play together, I don’t see it being a major problem. Sure some may leave, but with how Carroll and Snyder are bringing in great draft picks in the upper rounds of the draft it will be a matter of too much talent and not enough spots.

  25. This is the frustrating thing about john Schneider:

    He goes out and overpays guys like Rice and Miller and Harvin (worst move in hawks history) but then he gets guys like Bennet and Avril cheap.

    The Harvin trade (again, worst move in Hawks history) will come back to bite them when all of our stars get huge raises.

    The salary cap rewards teams who find good values and it punishes teams who overpay like Seattle.

    The hawks won’t even be able to afford the good values in the future because 10% of the salary cap is wasted on the most overrated and useless player ever (percy harvin).

    I can’t wait for us to win the super bowl but it would be better with more guys like Avril and Bennett and less guys like Harvin.

  26. They’ll release him this offseason or he will continue to play for relative peanuts. Everyone on hear applauding taking a massive paycut, but wouldn’t do it if they were in his shoes. He gambled and lost, it costs him at least $15 mil to leave the Lions. When he’s 35 and out the league will it still be a good move?

  27. @ unkleruckus

    How can you be so sure that he lost $15 million? In the real world, professionals take pay cuts more frequent than you think.

    Currently, I have offers from smaller companies to join their organization and sure it’s more money, but the security I have with my current establishment and the opportunities far beat the opportunities at the company offering me more money.

    In the NFL, there is no such thing as guaranteed money, who’s to say that he wouldn’t have been cut in Detroit? Avril took less money to join a team that is playing in the Super Bowl.

    Avril is playing on a team that has die-hard fans and marketing companies understand the importance of endorsing a player with such a charismatic fan-base.

    You would probably be the same on to judge him if he took more money to join a losing team, can’t fault a guy for wanting to play for a winning franchise.

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