Report: Lions and Avril are $2 million apart per season

Posted by ttwentyman on May 24, 2012 – 2:26 pm

According to a report by’s Albert Breer, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril is seeking a four-year contract worth approximately $42 million, with half the money guaranteed.

The Lions have used their franchise tag on Avril, worth $10.6 million, for the 2012 season. Avril is one of eight franchised players around the league who remain unsigned and away from their respective clubs, hoping to instead sign long-term deals.

The Lions and Avril have until July 15 to reach a deal or he has to play under that franchise tag this season.

Breer, sighting sources close to the negotiations, says the Lions are offering approximately $2 million less per year, or around $8 million per season. He did not report the number of years the Lions are offering.

Lions president Tom Lewand told season ticketholders a couple months ago that the team has offered Cliff a number of multi-year deals.

Avril is coming off an 11-sack season in which he led the league with six forced fumbles. He’s been training away from the team while negotiations are ongoing.

If the report is accurate, it seems Avril’s asking price a lot less than the $60 and $72 million deals signed by the Chiefs’ Tamba Hali and the Panthers’ Charles Johnson, which Avril referenced after last season when talking about his value.

It certainly gives hope that the two sides can meet in the middle.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 44 Comments »

44 Responses to “Report: Lions and Avril are $2 million apart per season”

  1. By eric on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    sorry cliff, but almost anyone working on the outside of Suh will have the kind of season you had. You aren’t worth what you are asking for.

  2. By Andrea L. Molinari on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    I REALLY feel that Cliff is worth this contract. In my opinion, the only concern I have had about him throughout his career has been him staying healthy. It is a violent game and staying healthy is the trick for everyone. Still, when Cliff is healthy…watch out. He is a very gifted athlete.

    He creates havok in the opponent’s backfield. I do NOT think that he has peaked yet… I am sure that Rodgers and Cutler will not be thrilled to hear that news! ;)

  3. By m2karateman on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    $21 million guaranteed is actually lower than I thought he’d want. But the overall cost of the contract is more than he’s worth. The Lions can simply pay him the $10.6 million this season and forego the long term commitment. Avril needs to accept that Tamba Hali is a better overall player than him, and that Charles Johnson was WAY overpaid. Avril is not an elite pass rusher, and should not be paid as one.

  4. By Terence Thomas on May 24, 2012 | Reply


  5. By Terence Thomas on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    I so tired of this guy putting hissself first . I wanna see who else will give him this doe. One good year and hes asking for 50mill. Please stop it. lets c him doing it again?

  6. By Andrea L. Molinari on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    And yet…the Lions have Franchised Tagged him…Hmmm, at 10.6 million per year. I wonder if THEY think he is good? I think the answer is obvious.

    As for putting himself first…that is SO LAME. His career is short and he is simply trying to get what he can, while he can. You would do the same…

    On the other hand, the Lions want to get him at a bargain. I get that too. The truth is that both sides will have to meet in the middle.

  7. By spellcheck on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    Twentyman. It’s citing not sighting.

  8. By @daddysbackhand on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    I’m a little frustrated with this contract situation as well. It’s very hard for me to see others on the team restructuring their contracts to fit us under the cap, and Cliff holding out. Missing OTA’s was very frustrating as well. We don’t need any distractions. I do not think that he is necessarily proven either. It may sound cliché but he lines up right next to Suh. He also has had just one good season. Still, only 11 sacks. Good but not great, in my opinion. Six forced fumbles lead the league but again he benefits off of who he plays next to. I feel that he is being very selfish and he is not someone that I would want on my team. Maybe that makes me ignorant, or maybe I just want to see the team do well. #LionBlood

  9. By thoughtfultypists on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    At the end of the day it’s a business and that will always be true in all sports. Shot college football is becoming a business for the students now. I don’t blame Cliff or the Lions’ Front Office for where they are at, fact is they’re a lot closer then I thought they would be at this point. His sacks have increased every year during his career and that is a lot more then I thought would happen for this Millen draft pick.

  10. By Jim on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    He is not worth more than 6 a year. He only got 11 sacks last year. He was probably double teamed 0 times in the pass rush against a RT. KVB, Suh, Williams get more attention in blocking schemes than you. No team will pay you that unless you put up 15/yr for a few years.

  11. By Jalohn on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    I like cliff I really do but at damn near 11 million a year hes not worth it he needs to put up around 15 or 16 sacks a year he never faces double teams either suh gets all the attention in the middle so if he wants that money hes gonna have to have an even better season next year. for that money he needs to consistently put pressure on QBs and he needs to play the run a lot better all he can do is rush the passer he doesnt contain the outside well. But he is only 25 and only going to get better if we keep him great if not hes replaceable especially with lonnell lewis he has a lot of the same traits and could eventually be the rusher cliff is

  12. By LIONGUY2028 on May 24, 2012 | Reply


  13. By Kirk on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    Oh by the way, we will see how much he will take if he gets stuck playing on his Tag and then does no perform this year. He will be begging for 4 or 5 million a season.

  14. By Rob Saxton on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    Cliff Avril is a young talented guy that deserves a good pay day. I say bump the offer halfway (if your apart 2 million give him anywhere from $800,000 to $1 mil) add a year to the offer guarantee just under half and add bonuses in there for certain achievements. Cliff needs to give a little to get a little. If after 3 or 4 years he is showing he deserves the remainder of that money he wants, let him renegotiate after that time and bump the money up as well as securing a great talent for years to come. If that doesn’t work give him a fat signing bonus to be handed out over the next 3 years. There is still plenty of time to get this deal done with something that will make both sides happy.

  15. By Matt on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    I’d say 11 sacks and 6 FF’s at 25 yrs of age is worthy of 9 million a year for 5 yrs. However, we are pretty deep on the D-line and could get exceptional trade offers. Worth considering.

  16. By Corey on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    I really feel that the Lions could plug in their second string and he could do what cliff does… Suh and Fairly are getting doubled each play s its not like he has to fight through a lot… let him go…

  17. By Nick on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    So it sounds like most of you are looking for 15 sacks or more…well 11 sacks 6 forced fumbles 1 INT and 1 touchdown sounds like it equates to more than that!
    This guy is a game changer!
    You seriusly think he wont be seeing a double team this year?? SIGN HIM!!

  18. By Dave Satterlee on May 24, 2012 | Reply

    Take our dts out of the equation he’s maybe a little better than average. I remember a few years ago before shu showed up the writers saying, ” well we’re expecting big things from Avril this year, we haven’t seen much so far.”
    He came with big expectations and didn’t do much till we made the huge improvements in the middle. Let him go if he won’t sign.

  19. By Dave "Waz" on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Football is a business. If you think of this like a company, you have several strong personell on the “D” line. Someone gets sick, you loose nothing because you have personell that step in of VERY close to equal talent. Now let’s look at the other departments. Linebackers, good starters, no depth. Safties, same problem. Cornerbacks, the weakest department. If you owned this company, where would you start investing your money, knowing that you have a cap on spending? Enough said about Avrils demands to make what the CEO makes.

  20. By gibbyfan23 on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Avril knows, that he is not going to have a great sack year, look what happen to SUH, and SUH is worth the money, let him play under the fran. tag if by trade dead line he’s not LEADING the league in sacks, trade him, Willie Young is going to be the NEW STUD this year, just watch, he’s faster and more talented than Avril, not going and doing the OTA’S are going to hurt Avril and having Fairley healthy and in the middle with SUH, OMG, warning, opposing QB’S, lunched going to be served and you are the menu, P.S. Fairley is supposed to be a little meaner than SUH, so this will be interesting to watch.

  21. By scott davis on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not sure how anybody can say x-million is or isnt enough… If i were mayhew I’d make avril take the 8 and prove one more year he’s worth what he is asking for. AND top 11 sacks from outside with all the attention suh and williams get! Jared allen gets a little better than 10 per year and doubled avril’s sacks. Get 20 this year cliff and then come calling! don’t get me wrong we love you but c’mon man keep it real.

  22. By Hogfish on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Avril is not worth 10 mil plus a year. Did he make the Pro bowl? His he considered an all-pro and a looked up to by his preers? 8 mil was more than generous and quite high. He has no inside move. He had a good year, great. To recieve superstar pay; he is not a super star. Avril is easily controlled by offensive tackles just push him away. San Fransico ran big plays right by him last year. 10 mil a year no way.

  23. By Roger Jr on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    most teams have a one, two punch in there D but the lions will have a one,two,three punch – Fairley,Suh,Avril ?? pay the man

  24. By john on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    no one other than Q B’s are worth that kind of money when one play can end a carrer

  25. By Chris on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Let him go. He was franchised because you don’t want to lose him for nothing. But, if he didn’t have the interior line that is in place and Vandenbosh on the other end, he would be as productive as he has been. Let him go and watch him fall for another team and be the ordinary player he is. Not worth 10 or 12 mill a year. We need a running back way for than another defensive end. Sorry Cliff.

  26. By gk-4 on May 25, 2012 | Reply


  27. By OneTyme on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Let him go, now! He is not that good. He’s no Hali or Johnson. The only reason that he did well last season is because so much attention was being put on Suh, Vanden Bosch, and Williams. Other teams let him run at the QB after one-on-one…and against their worst linemen. He’s definitely not worth $8 million per year…especially not worth $10 million per year. At most, give him $5 or $6 million…if he won’t take it, trade him for a safety like OJ Atogwe or something. Just get rid of this self-centered PoS.

  28. By john on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    football players deserve good pay as it is a violent game but how can you justify 10 mi a year when surgeons who save lives never make that kind of money 1 mil should be tops except for qbs

  29. By Dave "Waz" on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know about all of you bloggers, but I can’t think of what I would do with 10 million that I couldn’t with 8 … a year?!!! Buy another yacht? Let’s get realistic. This is more for the agent than for Cliff. He (agent) gets a percentage of what he negotiates. These guys are the blood suckers and the players let their egos play along because they know NO better. They are convinced that they must have the status of being the highest paid.

  30. By russbell on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    how about a trade cliff avril for morris clayborne even up
    willie young to take cliffs spot and the back end with clayborne left cb
    chris huston on the right cb looks better dont it

  31. By wisdumb on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    D. Ware for the Cowboys had almost 20 sacks last year. When Cliff gets his total up to 15 or 16 sacks I’ll start thinking about 10 million a year. I’ve been saying to trade him, but that just wont happen and I understand, but c’mon man, another year with the same amount of made plays, maybe 7 or 8 mill… not yet. I wouldn’t be that money hungry if my team was as close as the Lions are to taking the next step. Didn’t like half the Jets take pay cuts b/c they thought they were close? This is selfish of him, football is a team sport. Be one of the greats of a team with multiple Superbowl titles b/c u took a pay cut so they could add depth. Or always be super close, but never make it, because the team couldn’t pay anyone else on your behalf. (See Ben Wallace).

  32. By Bob on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Do not pay him. He is production does not match his demand. Not even close. He feels good because he was the better part of a crappy line, and crappy defense. They are horrible and he is not the shining light. They are not focused on him because they think Suh is good (which he’s not yet) and Van is actually better. Trade Avril for a CB:D

  33. By Aron on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Look at it from a busines perspective (which is what this is). If you have him locked up next year for 10.6, why pay him 10.5 for four years (42/4)? Better off with the FT. Now, if they could save some money, say 1-2 mill a year, maybe they consider it. But if they’re not saving money, no way… especially considering comments mentioned above (asking price does not reflect production, which is true. Sorry, but he is mediocre at best against the run).

  34. By Hogfish on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    To this point with no repeats counted. 10 say don’t pay. 3 say pay. 6 maybe’s half lean towards if he doesn’t make the grade by trade deadline trade him. Avril has not sold the fans on deserving this kind of money and I agree. Lewand you have been more than generous do not give start looking for trade ability.

  35. By dollarsandsense on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    Time to play hardball with Cliff. Don’t budge. Tell him he is only going to get half the defensive snaps if he comes in under the franchise tag and doesn’t sign this deal. His numbers will be down and his next deal will be worth much less than the 8 the Lions are offering. He is young, he is very talented, he can be a big part of this team but he needs to show more to get the money he wants now.

    If they give him the money he wants they need to stay away from a big signing bonus or guaranteed money to protect the franchise.

  36. By allan alexander on May 25, 2012 | Reply

    LET HIM GO> The reason he seems so gifted is because our D-Lineman get double teamed , free-ing him up on many occasions. Lots of Players for less money could do a decent job there,

  37. By UnknownWriter on May 28, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Cliff,

    You need to get innovated with your contract. Bonus money instead of salary. Have the team recommend you to local advertisers to increase your income. Just don’t keep hogging the cap space. The Lion’s need all the talent they can get and if all the cap money is used up on just a few handful of players, then they’ll (including you) will never get to your ultimate goal – a Super Bowl win!

  38. By CaptainEngland on May 29, 2012 | Reply

    Okay, I’m not sure if anyone remembers this, but Avril already explained what he was going to do when the season was over. He thinks he deserves a bigger pay than he was getting… which I agree with. Then he says he can’t give a special rate to the team until he knows how much they are willing to pay for him. He got franchise tagged… which showed him they really like him. Now he is testing the waters. He has to provide, sure the money is ridiculous, but let the guy know how much he is truly worth, let him play under that for a season, then let him reconstruct. That way the guy gets to see how much we value him and he can get back to working with the team. I do agree 42 mil is a lot… but if he keeps up that growth that is a bargain. Imagine if he keeps getting better, sure there is a chance he’ll bust, that what clauses are for to help you get out of the contract.

  39. By BigYardBomber81 on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    @ERIC first of if you were a smart person you’d know that cliff avril is very important to the heart of the lions front line yes suh is very importan but him next to cliff is a wrecking crew too a teams o-line its hard to double up suh an slide for protection on a 6-2 253 pound d end who runs a 4.5 an not to mention that avril led the league @ DE for fumbles forced with 6

  40. By Detroit Lions #1 on May 30, 2012 | Reply

    8 Million a season is about right I think. I’m tired of all of this.

  41. By UnknownWriter on May 31, 2012 | Reply

    The veterans on this team are walking on eggshells worrying about their jobs and not upsetting the coaching staff rather than trying to be leaders. Think about it. Just a few years ago the Lions were 0-16. They have been having huge player change over every year since. Last off season, was about the most stable off season in recent years. Now Avril with his contract hold out looks to be on his way out without doing anything wrong. Nick Fairley who is a two time loser, looks to be secure in his job because he grovels a lot. What player wants to become a leader in that environment? Good players being dissed and bad players being coddled? Get a contract done for Avril and send Fairley packing.

  42. By GreatestLionsFan on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    If our Lions are going to win a championship, than the whole team will have to make sacrifices in their pay to get it done. Matthew renegotiated his contract to keep Megatron with us and that compromise will assure wins for years to come. I like Cliff and hope that he will be here for the long haul. However, we are still one or two starting players away from making a run. Backus is awesome, but his time in this League is almost up. We need one more O-LIne stud to protect Stafford and another D-Back. Honestly, if Jake Long wants to come home next year instead of playing for a less then mediocre Miami Dolphins squad then we’ll need that money. GO LIONS!!!

  43. By Fl. Lions Fan on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    Avril has continued to improve
    every year he’s been with the
    Lions. The franchise tag
    Is already 10.6 million
    for one year. Anyone
    pays attention knows
    a franchise contract
    doesn’t include any
    bonus money or incentives. 21 million guaranteed
    over 4 years is just over 5 mil a year! The rest is incentives
    and signing bonuses. If he doesn’t meet
    his potential he loses a lot of money. Sign the guy already!! You all say he’s selfish, ask his teammates what they think.

  44. By Fl. Lions Fan on Jun 2, 2012 | Reply

    Avril has continued to improve every year he’s been with The Lions.
    The franchise tag is for 10.6 million for one year. Anyone who pays attention
    knows a contract like that doesn’t include bonuses or incentives. Its all
    upfront! He’s asking for 10.5 a year over 4 years with 21 mil guaranteed.
    that’s just 5 mil a year in guaranteed money the rest is signing bonuses and incentives. He has to produce or forfeit his incentive money!
    I say give the young man what he wants and let him prove he’s worth it!
    He’s asking for a lot less than Johnson or any of those other guys.
    Have you Lions fans the San Diego game? I haven’t! Sign him already!
    All of you say he’s being selfish, ask his teammates what they think!

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