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: Feb 21, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:58 am
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

im a lions fan and he wouldnt be as good if suh and williams were there hes not worth the money suh gets doubled and opens up more lanes and now hes talking about holding out hes a bum the lions will let him go and i wont care 1 bit i think alot of de would fit in our system




Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:44 am
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

I don't know much about this guy. He has the numbers and plays a position that is in high demand around the NFL right now. Detroit is on the way up and putting together a nice d. He is one guy that I would sign, he is the what is considered a game changer. Still if he just benefitting from outstanding interior play, let him go. He won't be on the market long.



Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:36 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

To those who think players (not just football) are entitled to crazy salaries because the owners make a lot of money I have two questions:  

1. who do you think is paying the players salaries - advertising and we the consumer through high ticket prices and insane vendor prices.
Do you honestly believe that if the players were making winimum wage, the price of tickets and hot dogs would go down one penny? Hell no. They'd just come up with some other excuse to raise prices again the next year.

2. If the players are entitled to a bigger slice of the pie because the owners are making money, are the players willing to pay money back if the teams lose money?  I don't think so.
The NFL has revenue sharing. Teams don't "lose money". It just doesn't happen. They can fudge their balance sheets all they want and pretend that revenue doesn't count, but they still get it, and it does. Also, this is a total fallacy. As an independent contractor, the player is entitled to whatever deal he negotiates. Period. How the team then does has no bearing on his pay, unless incentive clauses specifically say so.

Anyone who complains about player salaries without also admitting that teams will ruthlessly screw the player over the second it is in their financial interest to do so is being naive at best and disingenuous at second-best. The reasons these players try for ridiculous contracts are twofold:

1. Contracts in the NFL don't mean squat. Teams fail to hold up their end of the bargain every single year. Thus, the players need to grab as much as they can before the team defaults on the contract.

2. Because they can. If teams and owners are businessmen who will do what is necessary to make a profit, then so are the players. This double standard of excusing everything teams and owners do in the pursuit of money while condemning the players for doing exactly the same thing is hilarious. One necessitates the other.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 1:37 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

For the most part, I think if the Lions offered $9 million for 5 years incentivized up to $11.5 - $12 million, both sides would be happy. 

Maybe it'll happen, but I think the Lions are just pretending to negotiate with Avril and pretending they're willing to keep him on the roster after they franchise him just to increase his trade value.  The Lions are in a difficult position, too many high priced players and not enough money under the cap to go around.  Megatron is a must, they have to resign him and it's going to cost between 130 and 150 million dollars to do it.  Stafford only has 3 years left on his deal and then he gets a new deal, and it'll be a massive one.  If they give Avril a 5 year deal it runs right into Stafford's new contract for the first 2 years of Stafford's new deal.   Suh has 4 years left which means Avril's 5 year deal runs into his for a year as well.  After 2 more seasons Fairley will likely ask Detroit to renegotiate his deal. Vandenbosch only has 1 year left on his deal. Yeah, he's 33 but still damn good.  Do you let him go?

Impossible to keep all of these players, so what does Mayhew do?  Do you keep them all for now and then be forced to let some people walk for nothing?  Or do you optimize by trading a guy like Avril in his prime and getting a good return while you still can?

I say trade him, and trust that guys like Suh and Fairley at the tackle position will create problems for defensive lines that allow defensive ends more one on one opportunities.  Personally I'm not sure Avril can do what he did in Detroit if he was being double teamed like he might be somewhere else, but if other teams think he can then that's great.  Let them overspend in a trade for Avril...

Been a long long time since the Lions have had a good player they can do without that other teams need..... 



Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

i believe Cliff Avril finds himself in a good situation for himself, but a tough negotiation season because of the lack of other players to tag. For the most part, I think if the Lions offered $9 million for 5 years incentivized up to $11.5 - $12 million, both sides would be happy. Lets not forget how important chemistry is when talking defense. Those 4 - 7 players know each other and the longer they play together, the better they get.

i say go into overtime to keep a key piece of this Superbowl potential team ...




Since: Nov 12, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 8:43 am
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Wants to be paid 12 million for the work he has put in.  If he has a lousy year is he going to pay some of it back?

To those who think players (not just football) are entitled to crazy salaries because the owners make a lot of money I have two questions:  

1. who do you think is paying the players salaries - advertising and we the consumer through high ticket prices and insane vendor prices.
2. If the players are entitled to a bigger slice of the pie because the owners are making money, are the players willing to pay money back if the teams lose money?  I don't think so. 



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:13 am
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

The Lions are trying to build a team with character: not a team of "characters."  If Avril wants to be a baby about it, they should give him enough to get him to sign and then trade him while his market value is high.  The Lions have worked hard to build a team.  Any player who threatens to hold out rather than be one of the five highest-paid players in the league at his position next year is not a team player and should be immediately shipped out, hopefully to someplace where the aren't on the upward curve the Lions are trying to sustain.

I also agree with those who think that playing with Suh has inflated Avril's market value.  The last factor: Detroit has possibly the worst unemployment in the nation right now.  The fans there are loyal to players who give it all on the field.  Conversely, fans will turn on someone who thinks he is too good to play for $10.6 million in a heartbeat.   

I hope he gets traded to Buffalo. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:41 am
 

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!!!

The Lions don't need to draft another defensive end or defensive linemen, even if they trade Avril.  They have depth on the line and lots of it.  We picked up Lawrence Jackson a couple seasons ago I believe from Seattle for basically nothing.  The guy has 10.5 sacks in 22 games with the Lions playing part time most of the first year and not as much as Avril this past season.

I'm not saying Avril isn't good, maybe he would do as well somewhere else.  But the fact is the Lions have so much depth at d-line and others get double teamed, that opens things up for Avril.  He doesn't face double teams.... almost ever.

The Lions are in a PERFECT position here, they haven't been in a position like this with a player in a long long time.  They can and will franchise him, and then they can trade him.  At least a couple teams will most likely go after him because his stats were as good as they have been the last couple years, and the fact he had a dominating season this year doesn't hurt at all.  Avril is still only turning 26, he's still young.  Plenty of teams need help on the d-line, the Lions don't. 

Somebody can trade for him and then sign him to an extension, re-do his contract for a better cap hit and everybody is happy.  



Since: Dec 25, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:14 am
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

Gained from stud o-line...He should do whats best for him. I hop we dont overpay like Redding.



Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:05 am
 

Cliff Avril hints at holdout if Lions tag him

And your going to work your entire life for what??? Games RULE, JOBS and MEANING LOSE!! Pass it on to your kids.


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