Lions use franchise tag on Avril

Posted by ttwentyman on March 5, 2012 – 12:23 pm

As expected, the Lions have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril.

The team and Avril could not come to an agreement on a long-term contract today so the team placed the one-year franchise tag on him before today’s 4 p.m. deadline. The move prevents Avril from hitting free agency March 13.

Placing the non-exclusive tag on Avril allows him to negotiate with other teams, but the Lions would have the right to match any offer or be compensated with two first-round selections.

The Lions will pay Avril $10.6 million next season, which is a hefty raise from the $2.61 million he made in 2011. Avril is bound to play under the tag next season unless an agreement on a long-term deal can be made before July 15. After that date, Avril has no choice but to play next season under the tag or not play at all.

The franchise tag certainly isn’t an ideal move for a Lions team looking for salary cap relief, but losing Avril ultimately proved to be a worse option in the long run.

Avril, 25, has improved his sack total each season since being drafted in 2008 by the Lions. In 47 career games (44 starts), Avril has 30 sacks, 129 tackles, 14 forced fumbles, 12 passes defended and two touchdowns.

His 11 sacks led the team last season and his six forced fumbles were second-most in the NFL to only the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs (7). Avril also recovered three fumbles, the second most in the league.

Avril became the first Lions player to register 10 sacks and have at least one fumble return touchdown and one interception return touchdown in the same season. He’s only the sixth player since the NFL started registering sacks as a statistic in 1982 to accomplish that feat, and the first since 2006 (DeMarcus Ware).

His season earned him the Lem Barney Defensive MVP Award, as voted by his teammates.

The Lions will continue to negotiate with Avril’s agent Brian Mackler on a long-term deal, but can now shift some focus to getting some of the other team’s key free agents signed knowing that Avril will be a Lion next year.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Lions use franchise tag on Avril”

  1. By redwing1 on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Not unexpected. Need to get Calvin signed to extension to get Tulloch, Backus and Wright re-signed

  2. By brandon on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Two first round selections would be nice and I understand the point but matt and Calvin are gonna need a brinks truck for the money they will command and that doesn’t bode well for keeping those guys when the time comes. I hope all works out, I need a lions superbowl win I’m 6’5 350 just hire me as a walk on and put me next to suh I’ll give you 7 sacks purely on scheme

  3. By Jacob R on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Sign him for whatever the Bengals want to pay him, then trade him to Cinci. He would still be huge there, they have an extra first round pick one of these years i think. They need an Interior Lineman and they can get one in the second. I think the Bengals would be good from there and we’re ready to roll. Just my opinion.

  4. By Heymansan69 on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I know most of you will disagree with me, but the best thing that could happen to the Lions is for some foolish team to take Avril and owe the Lions two First Round Picks! That way the Lions could solidify two more positions with college prospects that should turn out to be stars. Avril’s raise from $2.6 million this year to over $10 Million is more than fair for his talent level. This is just a part of what is ruining sports today. Players of above average ability becoming multi-millionaires, while average people struggle to keep their homes. The real value that the Lions must realize is Martin Mayhew, and Jim Swartz, I hope they are so handsomely rewarded, also.

  5. By elreydeleon on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    At first I was not behind franchising Avril, but after he said that he would hold out if he got franchised, it’s obvious he’s just looking to get paid and not all that concerned with getting to the Super Bowl with this team. I guess the Super bowl is a secondary or maybe even tertiary goal for most players these days; after “gettin’ paid”. If we can get 2 first rounders out of the deal, then so be it. More than likely, the 10 sack season he had won’t be duplicated elsewhere because Suh and Fairley won’t be there to take up blockers for him. Those 2 first rounders can be used to shore up our defensive backfield and O-line.

  6. By elreydeleon on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    My bad, it was 11 sacks last season. He get’s 6 tops on another team.

  7. By Jalohn on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    i really like avril but the money hes asking for hes not worth hes good and getting better but re-signing tulloch is much more important that re-signing avril we cant replace him in the middle like we can replace avril with Willie Young and Lo Jack. I really hope someone takes him off our hands those 2 first round picks would give us much more value than what cliff offers. if we can sign him to like 5-6 Mil per year than i say re-sign him but if he wants in upwards of 8 Mil than i say let him walk

  8. By Ginormous on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Cliff is good, but I would rather have two more first round picks than pay him $10.6 million. Unless the Lions were VASTLY undercutting him on price (like offering $3 million for the upcoming season), it feels like he’s not being a team player. If we are going to continue to improve and reach the Super Bowl, we need players that are willing to play for reasonable salaries knowing that there are other positions on the team that need to be improved. We should be able to sign at least two quality veterans combined for $10.6 million next season. Here’s hoping for two first round picks!

  9. By J_Ex on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Absolutely this guy is more a product of a very favorable situation than a perenial probowler, I am glad that the Lions appear to be aware of this. Don’t get me wrong, I like him but he wants too much.

  10. By Oldboy on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    @Heymansan69 I don’t expect any team to negotiate a big, expensive contract with Avril and give up two first rounders. It would be cool if it happened but I think most teams aren’t willing to pay that price specifically for Avril.

  11. By lions lifer on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    How many millions and millions and millions of dollars dose it take to make someone happy where there at. I’m sure whatever long term deal the Lions could offer was sick money for most peaple on the planet Earth. Avril, go away and get what you think you deserve somewhere else. But I’ll bet no one out there thinks your worth it. So were stuck with you. Thanks for doing your job over the past few years.

  12. By hogfish on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I can not find the words of just how deeply disappointed I am of the position that Avril has put the team in. Let the other teams make the offers.

  13. By Dave "Waz" on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Heymansan69 is on the money. I’d love to see the Lions get 2 1st round picks for Avril. The man is good, but not THAT good. Any team with enough cap space to afford his asking price is not a top tier team, generally speaking. Lest we not forget who he plays next to. Suh gets a double team on almost every play. That’s got to give Avril every opportunity to get to the QB. Matter-of-factly speaking, his stats should even be better. He actually may be an under achiever??? Avril … I love you man. But go swallow a “humble pill” and take a deep look into the mirror and face reality.

  14. By Terry on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry, I just don’t think Avril is worth the cap hit. There are many players in this leauge that could be just as good and alot cheaper. He has the best D-line in football playing along side of him, and that’s why he is so successful. I think Avril is just a little better than average at his position.

  15. By blacklisters on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    You guys obviously werent watching the same detroit lions games i was watching. cliff avril is the real deal. having suh and kvb among others on that outstanding d-line helped free him to get nasty also; but i put my money on a solid defensive end who has proven he can play in this league and make big-time plays, rather than some guy with potential coming out of college anyday. and this is not about people losing homes to foreclosure, this is about the detroit lions finally playing some good football. take that economics talk to c-n-n or rush limbaugh. GO L-I-O-N-S-!

  16. By Dave "Waz" on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    It all boils down to “the best bang for the buck”. The kind of money Avril is seeking puts him in “elite” status. Realistically, he is not there yet. There’s no guarantee he will or will not be. Do you want to make that gamble and weaken us at other positions? No disputing he made some great plays and the interception against SD (Rivers) was athletic. But you don’t break the bank on 1 play. We can use the cap space to strenghten our TRUE weaknesses. It’s all about money/business.

  17. By jordan on Mar 10, 2012 | Reply

    just let him go he is only bean good because of the respect that sue got because he was dubbed team aver play so if the lion’s want to get a true talent go get Mario will aim and a another true cb and that my thought on that madder

  18. By dcleve126 on Mar 13, 2012 | Reply

    second time through on this story Avirl is not a player I want the Lions to lose, he shows up behind this D-line, with that said. Mr. Avirl can you afford to press your muscle you are on a SuperBowl coming team you are a vital part of it. Your stocks rising jumping ship or forcing your team hardship to pay you now is not a warranty another year playing at the level you did this year and you could own your own bank. With even more resume stuffings at your command. But whatever you do from a fans position do not sit out, hurts you and the Team and it a no win situation for you or the Lions

  19. By Detroit Lions Junkie on May 18, 2012 | Reply

    2 months later and this is STILL not settled, smh!

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