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Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:02 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 6:06 pm
 
Avril terrorized quarterbacks in 2011. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The flurry of franchise-tag activity on Monday continued with the Lions locking up one of their more important defensive players, using the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril.

As noted by our Lions Rapid Reporter John Kreger, Avril is guaranteed a one-year salary of $10.6 million now, but other teams may negotiate with the defensive end. If someone else offers Avril a contract, the Lions can either match or get two first-round picks in exchange from the team offering the contract.

There was some speculation that Avril would be unhappy with the franchise-tag designation, but he tweeted "#BLESSED" shortly after the news broke.

This is, as Kreger notes, the first time the Lions have used the franchise tag since 2007.

But utilizing the tag on Avril isn't all good news for Lions fans. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press notes, the Lions now have more than half of their 2012 salary cap tied up with just four players: Avril, Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh. Those are a good four players to have, but Detroit certainly needs to work on long-term contracts for Avril and Megatron.

The Lions now have, per franchise tag rules, until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal with Avril.

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Comments

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:06 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

@ Beltwayboysport - I agree.  Avril is becoming a force to be reckoned with.  Losing Best didn't help, but Smith, late in the season, provided a much needed spark in the ground game.  I don't know what the future holds for Best but I hope he recovers completely and has no lingering effects of those concussions.  Once Leshoure comes back healthy, I believe the Lions will have a top notch running game, with or without Best.  This, in turn, will make Stafford extremely productive.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:09 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Redwings, that was a good comparrison, but i still am just curious if we sign Avril to a long term deal similar to what Charles Johnson got; can we back load or bonus load it so we dont have such a huge hit on the cap.  I am not going to pretend that I know much about this so i am just curious.  i know by tagging him we are just giving the Lions more time to resign him, i am just wondering what kind of deals we can make to both help out Avril and the Lions

ConeyDave.  Although I've looked into it quite a bit I still get confused with the NFL's salary cap, roster bonuses, signing bonuses and how they affect cap hits.  Yes, teams get fancy, backload some deals and use roster bonuses to spread the cap hit througout the life of the deal but when you already have 3 players like Stafford, Calvin and Suh making that much money eventually somebody has to go.

 



Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:59 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Redwings, that was a good comparrison, but i still am just curious if we sign Avril to a long term deal similar to what Charles Johnson got; can we back load or bonus load it so we dont have such a huge hit on the cap.  I am not going to pretend that I know much about this so i am just curious.  i know by tagging him we are just giving the Lions more time to resign him, i am just wondering what kind of deals we can make to both help out Avril and the Lions



Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:08 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Yes,this move by the Lions will ensure their dominatioin over the NFL will continue for many years to come.
All this move ensures is -- Avril won't be leaving the Lions for another team without Detroit getting 2 1st round draft picks.  Personally, I like Avril and think he is going to be stud.  2 1st round picks with the adjusted rookie salary cap is HUGE.  So in the end, it is a win-win for the Lions -- they either get a young stud DE or they get the luxury of having multiple 1st round picks the next two years.



Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

So CBS answer me this: Why when I click on the link that mentioned, "franchised WR: Wes Welker" do I get a thread about the Lions and Cliff Avril and no mention of Welker?



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 5:05 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Yes,this move by the Lions will ensure their dominatioin over the NFL will continue for many years to come.



Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:41 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

It's a very good move for the Lions, keeps the defenses of line in tacted, for the years to come.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:32 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Cliff is better than average, but the Lions should let him test the waters of free agency, his numbers are good, not great, and he benefits from a strong D line, that eats up double teams and leaves him to use his speed, plenty of others out there in the draft that could post very similar numbers.  
Just take his money and put it in the resign Megatron fund. 

I agree with half of what you said, just not the first half.  Avril's combined numbers the last 2 years were a whole lot better then average and yes, they have been great.  In his last 2 seasons he's played 29 games, has 19.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries and 9 passes defended.  His season last year was incredible.... overall just a great season with monster stats attached to it. 

But, I believe he did benefit from a dline and other players demanding double teams.  That being said when it comes to negotiating a long term deal that's not a factor at all.  Just his age and stats alone are going to get him a massive long term deal somewhere.   



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:20 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Now can the lions  Avril to a long term deal that would get rid of the 10.8 mil a year price tag?  Now like the Lions can get him to agree to like a 5 year 45 mil deal which is more back loaded or bonus loaded, does that mean we can actually have money to resign Tulloch?  I just dont want the Lions to be stuck in a position like the Colts were all their money is tied up in just a few players and have to suffer with less then exceptional talent on defense or the O-line.

I highly doubt a 5 year 45 million dollar deal will even come close to what Avril will eventually sign for, it's probably going to be a lot more then that.  Carolina signed Charles Johnson to a 6 year 76 million dollar contract last year that included a 30 million dollar signing bonus.  He was coming off a season where he had 11.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, zero recovered,  zero td's and 1 pass defended.   Avril just had 11 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 3 recovered, 1 td, 1 interception and 4 passes defended.  A much better statistical year then Johnson had.  Avril had more forced and recovered fumbles this year then Johnson has had in his career.  Avril has the same amount of sacks in a few less games and better stats everywhere else.

Can't see Avril accepting a nickel less then Johnson, let alone that much less.  The 2 players I'm comparing are the same age as well.... it's a perfect contract comparison for Avril's agents and one rumor has it they've already used in negiations many times.



Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:02 pm
 

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

I didn't know the team hasn't used the Franchise Tag since 2007, but this was a smart move by the Lions because Avril's only 25 years old and has been improving each season. If another team wants him it will cost them two first round picks, but I don't see that happening here. Plus the kid forced six fumbles to go along with his 11 sacks this past season, a good move for this up and coming team in my opinion. I really think this team could make some serious noise in the upcoming 2012 season if they can stay relatively healthy and improve their running game.


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