Blog Entry

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Posted on: February 19, 2012 2:29 pm
Detroit could franchise Avril and he might choose to hold out. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

On Friday, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril admitted that he had no idea if the team would franchise him after his 11-sack, six-forced-fumbles effort in 2011, but made it clear that "I want a deal, obviously." Not long after, the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett reported that two sources close to the negotiations "stopped short of saying Avril definitely will be tagged, both said that’s the likely outcome if the two sides don’t agree on a long-term deal before March 5, the deadline for applying the tag."

On Saturday, Avril again reiterated that he's not particularly jazzed about the possibility of playing on a one-year contract, even one that would pay him around $10.6 million in 2012. In fact, he might consider holding out.

"There's a lot of different possibilities, and that's one of the possibilities -- not showing up," Avril said of missing off-season workouts and training camp (via the Free Press' Carlos Monarrez. "But we don't know. That's not the plan, obviously. But there's a lot of different possibilities, and that's definitely one of them."

Well, the Lions can officially tag whomever they want starting Monday, February 20 and they'll have two weeks to do so until free agency begins on March 5. Monarro writes that Avril "likely wants a long-term deal that would pay him about $12 million per season," something in line with the contracts signed by the Panthers' Charles Johnson and the Chiefs' Tamba Hali last year.

Avril had a fantastic 2011 that included a dominating performance against the Broncos and Tim Tebow in Week 8 when he recorded two sacks, and turned a forced fumble into a 24-yard touchdown. "I know it's the NFL," he said. "People make promises. It's a business. People tell you one thing one year and it might not be the same thing next year. It's expected. But the whole thing last year is I wanted a deal. They basically told me you need to do this, that and third or whatever as far as playing and being productive. I feel like I did that. Obviously it doesn't stop right here, but I do want to be compensated for the work that I'm putting in. That's all."

Fair points, all of them. But here's what the Lions might be thinking: Yes, Avril went off last season, but he also played next to some combination of Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, Nick Fairely and Andre Fluellen. They combined for seven sacks at defensive tackle. And Avril played opposite Kyle Vanden Bosch, and he had eight sacks.

"I don't want to be franchised," Avril said. "That's basically what I got last year. The tender was basically the same thing. I just want security and longevity."

Ultimately, Avril's fate may be out of his hands. He can holdout to express his unhappiness but it's seldom a successful strategy to get a new contract, and usually ends up with the organization threatening to fine the player for missed practices and workouts. The most recent exception: Chris Johnson sat comfortably on his couch until the Titans blinked and overpaid him. Johnson, one of the league's best running backs heading into 2011, responded by rushing for 1,047 yards on 262 carries (4.0 average) and just four touchdowns.

We get Avrils' frustration but should it get to that point, it might be in his best interest to sign the $10.6 million franchise tender and spend the spring and summer trying to hammer out a long-term deal.

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Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:58 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

No biggie, if he does not sign, draft a DE in the first round, lots of talent at that position this year, ship him OUT!!!

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:51 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Bye Bye Cliff, hope you go somewhere with other lineman getting double teamed, and really hope your head stops swelling up, you will need it if you leave. One on one your a beast, after that you fail.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:31 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him


Suh, Vanden Bosch and Williams make your sorry *** look good...

Did I mention we have Fairley too?

I could play strong-side and do well, don't let the door hit you on the way out... 

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:23 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Bmdeike , Why would mario williams even consider going to a LOSER orginazation like Detroit ?

Obviously you just woke up from a coma and missed the last couple NFL seasons so let me fill you in on a couple things.  First of all, welcome back !!  I'm glad you're ok and feeling better. 

Three years ago, just before your tragic accident the Lions management team was replaced with a new one.  They went from zero to a couple wins to 6 wins and this year they hit 10 wins in a tough division and made the playoffs.  They have a young qb that played his first full season this year, his name is Matt Stafford, he threw for over 5 thousand yards.  Megatron otherwise known as Calvin Johnson is the best reciever in the NFL.  On the d-line they have a monster named Suh and a couple other pretty good players, a very deep line including Vandenboesh, a pretty good player and Nick Fairley.  Those players would open things up for Williams, he wouldn't face many double teams, his stats would fly and so would his salary.

Anyway, glad I could help....... you can thank me later. 

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2012 10:48 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

I should hold out at work until they give me a contract worth 12 million a year for 3 years.  It is funny the dollars these guys think they are worth.  He is complaining about getting paid 10.6 million a year for crying out loud.  I love watching sports but the salarys are crazy high.  They get paid more to play one game than you and I get paid in 10 years working every day.  Can you say spoiled 1%'er?  It is hard to feel connected to the players anymore. 

Since: Sep 7, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2012 9:59 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

It's a business. It's perfectly acceptable for a team to cut a player two days after breaking a leg while under a piss-poor contract, but everyone and their mother likes to hammer players for looking out for themselves.

The CBA also states that owners don't have to honor their word (i.e. contracts). $10 mil is a lot of money. We all get that. What seems to be forgotten is that it's nowhere near the amount of money that owners have and continue to make off of players risking their health on a weekly basis. And for what? So one side can renege on their part of the deal at any point of their choosing? I'm not asking or a couple hundred Albert Haynesworths, but I'm quite happy to see players land lucrative deals. Their the ones selling the sport, not the owners.

Since: Feb 2, 2012
Posted on: February 19, 2012 9:50 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Bmdeike , Why would mario williams even consider going to a LOSER orginazation like Detroit ?

Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: February 19, 2012 9:05 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Defensive ends are supposed to get sacks. Avril should get plenty of sacks when one considerst the strength of the  interior of the Lions defensive line. It's best he takes the cash, and work something out. A little news for you Cliff, Megatron has first dibs!!!

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:14 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

just a thought but let cliff avril go if he wants to be greedy and go out and sign mario williams, that would make this defensive line super elite.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:02 pm

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

That's my point. Many people know somebody who has lost their home or is about to.  And your going to tell me a football player is going to squabble over 10 mil.  Right now NO football player is worth 10 million dollars in my book.  As far as your statement, a persons worth is what he/she accepts in salary or hourly rate from his/her employer. 

So true.  People are losing their homes these days, have nowhere to go and quite often kids are involved.  But the sports world is a different world altogether, they don't really live on the same planet we live on.  

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