Lions DE Cliff Avril reports to training camp

Posted by ttwentyman on August 5, 2012 – 8:36 am

Lions defensive end Cliff Avril has reported to training camp and signed his franchise tender.

Avril was designated the franchise tag, worth $10.6 million, back in March after he and the Lions could not come to an agreement on a long-term contract. The two sides continued to be too far apart at the July 16 deadline to get a new contract done, which forces Avril to play the 2012 season under the franchise tag.

Avril was never a fan of playing under the one-year tender, which is why he didn’t report to training camp with the rest of his teammates July 26.

He passed his physical this morning and officially signed the tender

“If you’re heart is filled with faith then you can’t fear,” Avril tweeted early this morning. “Back to work, let’s get it #win.”

Avril had a breakout season in 2011, leading the team with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles. He has had 30 career sacks and 14 forced fumbles since 2008, when the team drafted him in the third round out of Purdue.

“One of the thing’s about Cliff’s situation, if there’s anything positive to take from it or that was encouraging for me, was he’s very optimistic about how he’s going to perform this season,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters last week. “He’s willing to bet on himself and I respect that about him. He has his reasons for not being here, but I guess what I’m saying is we made a very solid offer to him that we felt was a very good offer. He was willing to bet on himself and bet he’s going to outperform what was on the table and I like that.”

Avril reportedly turned down a three-year, $30 million offer by the Lions before the July 16 deadline.

“I know that when he gets here he’s going to be in great condition and be ready to go,” Mayhew said. “And he’s excited about how he’s going to play this year so I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Avril missed just over a week of training camp (nine days and eight practices). He won’t be able to practice in pads with the rest of his teammates until he participates in two practices without pads, per the collective bargaining agreement. The Lions have an open practice at Ford Field tonight at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Lions DE Cliff Avril reports to training camp”

  1. By Tom on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    About time, now the Dline is ready to go and get the QBs

  2. By Hogfish on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    10 mil a year for 3 years and Avril turned it down. If Avril beats last seasons stats I will be surprised. Stop the run maybe. Over 10 mil a year, 16 sacks easily with the D-Line the Lions have now. How many sacks would Allen have if he were a Lion?

  3. By Rick on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    Mr. Mayhew, If Avril performs as he says he will, I’m afraid you’re going to have to pony up with the contract he’s requestiing to keep him next year. He will definitely have earned it, as well as your respect, as he hasn’t acted like so many prima donnas in the NFL. It’s very refreshing to see someone take the old-school attitude.

  4. By Dudeman1969 on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    I hope Avril does beast on everybody. I can see Mayhew’s perspective. Avril only performed well in a contract year. The Lions are sitting good. If he doesn’t perform, they have depth.

  5. By Little on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    Anyone who turns down 10 million a year is an arrogant fool. All the other leaders on this team are taking pay cuts and reworking contracts to bring the LIONS a winning team, not Avril. Let him go as a UFA next year, he just is as good as the players around him, hell I could get ten sacks playing with Suh, Williams, Fairley, and KVB<<

  6. By slightlyopt on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    The leaders on the team reworked their contracts but they didn’t take pay cuts. They used accounting tricks to move the money around for cap purposes, but pay cuts? No.

    Glad to see Avril is in camp, I think the Lions offer was more than fair as I tend to think Avril is a product of the system and his team mates at least partially. To give credit where it is due though,he does make good use of that strip move when he gets close to the QBs even if he can’t actually get the sack. If he thinks he can outperform the contract offer, more power to him, it would be great to see.

  7. By Matt on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    um SLIGHTLYOPT, when Avril uses that “strip move” you speak of to create a FF, that IS considered a sack as well… your logic is slightlyoff. Pun intended.

  8. By Rebelyankee on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    Wonder when he will be traded and what we will get ???

  9. By dreameagle on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    Avril will have the atypical monster contract year…and burn up somebody else’s cap because of it;

    trouble is, the only teams that will give him the kind of money he wants is LOSERS, like the browns, for instance, or Arizona or Buffalo, maybe KC or Tennessee;

    we’ll see if he wants money or a ring, but he won’t be getting both anytime soon, nor a ring if he leaves here;

    then let’s just see how much money can assuage getting beat up week after week and losing 10+ games a year on top of it;

    just ask Megatron how much fun that was…

  10. By Dave "Waz" on Aug 6, 2012 | Reply

    There’s a couple of guys on this blog that sound like they’re relatives of Cliff. If he’s not acting like a “prima donna” I happen to have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale…cheap. He had his best year in a contract year playing next to a Pro-Bowler and 2 former Pro-bowlers. Any guy with average or slightly above average skills will do what he did. $10,000,000 a year is not enough???!!! Get serious! Talking with another fan he exclaimed to me that football careers are short and get the money while you can. At who’s expense? With cap issues and question marks at LB and DB, trade him if his attitude and respect for his fellow teammates doesn’t change. That is putting yourself ahead of everyone else. Seriously, all you fans, what would you do with $10,000,000 that you couldn’t with $9,000,000…A YEAR!!!???
    For 3 years???

  11. By THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    I really respect cliff. I equally repect Mr Mayhew as well. I think Cliff had a heck of a year and tried extract all he could with those wonderful stats he accured. I’m glad Cliff”s back and hope he has as great a year in 2012 as he did in 2011.

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