Blog Entry

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Posted on: February 19, 2012 2:29 pm
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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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Comments

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 8:00 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Who is Cliff Avril and why would anyone care if he held out?



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 7:38 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

 Everyone in the world wants to be paid what they are worth in thier profession.
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. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 6:22 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

I'm sure if the Lions franchise him he'll show up and play and become a multi-millionaire.  The big question is whether the salary cap challenged Lions can afford to keep him without cutting some other key players.  

I'm a big Lions fan and I follow them and their cap situation closely.  I'm willing to bet big money if the Lions can't come to terms on a long term deal with Avril soon after they franchise him they'll trade him to the highest bidder.  The Lions have a lot of depth on the defensive line, they aren't going to take a 10 million dollar cap hit for Avril next season.  



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:15 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Hes a punk because he has had ONE GOOD SEASON and wants to be treated like hes Julius peppers or something!  Take your 10 mil tag, and produce another good season and you will be rewarded because you have shown consistency!

He was pretty good the year before that too, but I agree 100 percent, play football and shutup.  I'm sick and tired of the nonesense in the NFL, I can't stand some of these players anymore.  And I'm a Lions fan that loves how this kid plays, but enough is enough.  The CBA states teams can franchise players, if the players didn't like that rule they should have held out and gotten it changed.

If I'm the Lions and he holds out I let him sit, end of story. The new CBA states players don't get credit for the year if they hold out, they can't come back like they used to 11 games into the season and get credit for the season against their free agency.

10 million dollars is a lot of money, time to shut up and play Mr Avril..... keep playing like you did last season the money will come.   



Since: Nov 8, 2008
Posted on: February 19, 2012 5:05 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Yea it's the unions, fault you're an idiot



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:59 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Hes a punk because he has had ONE GOOD SEASON and wants to be treated like hes Julius peppers or something!  Take your 10 mil tag, and produce another good season and you will be rewarded because you have shown consistency!
 



Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:46 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Crybabies wanting extra million to play a game. Once you taste that sort of cash, you need more and more and more and more



Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: February 19, 2012 4:18 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

 I want to see more Jeremy Lin stories.

If Lin keeps playing like he is wait til his contract comes around and see what he asks for, he might not even wait that long and ask for it before its up like any person would if they were not getting paid the avg salary as soneone is for the same job or even less. Dont say you wouldnt or players should live up to thier contracts because everyone wants more, Period. If someone in your company was making more money for the same work you do or even less work then you do, you say you wouldnt ask for more? If you say No,  then ask yourself this question, have you ever asked your company for a raise before they came to you and gave you a raise? If so then your the same as everyone else and the players just different money. Everyone in the world wants to be paid what they are worth in thier profession.



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: February 19, 2012 3:57 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

I'm sure the question that was posed to him was "would you hold out if they franchised you"?   So he gave the reporter an answer.  But the bottom line is that if he holds out he passes up the opportunity to make $10.6 million next year.   I understand he wants a long term deal - every player does - but holding out hurts him more than anyone else.  I'm sure if the Lions franchise him he'll show up and play and become a multi-millionaire.  The big question is whether the salary cap challenged Lions can afford to keep him without cutting some other key players. 



Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 3:41 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

This is great. Now we we're getting one hit wonders who want to hold out instead of making over 10 mil.  I hope all of the athletes who are thinking of holding out do so.   I want to see more Jeremy Lin stories.



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