Blog Entry

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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Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:41 pm

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Now can the lions sign Avril to a long term deal that would get rid of the 10.8 mil a year price tag?

Yes the Lions have until July 14 I think thats the date but its in July though to sign him to a long term contract and it will erase the tag.

Since: May 21, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:57 pm

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Now can the lions sign 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.

The problem is that Avril so far has just put up one great season and I am not sure he is worth the 10 million he will be making.  Now if he goes out and does this again, another 11 sack season, give him some money cause he could be the new feared pass rusher in the NFC.  Wouldnt it be great if teams start to fear him like we do of Jared Allen? 

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:56 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. 

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:53 pm

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Dont be surprised if the Lions dont get a long term deal done with Arvil by draft day that they might just trade him to the highest bidder. To be honest I think it would be a smart move to trade him with all the other teams high profile contracts coming up next yr and the yr after with Calvin, Staffords and Suh. So be wise Lions and be smart with this one.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:13 pm

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

I knew the Lions would tag Avril, there was never any doubt about that at all.  In my opinion Avril has played his last game as a Detroit Lion, I almost want to say "no doubt" about that as well, only because Avril is asking for 12 million per season and somewhere around the 20 million dollar signing bonus range to get a deal done.... very similar to what another player signed a deal for last year at Avril's position and that player didn't have as good a resume as Avril does. 

The Lions D line is deep enough that in my opinion they can trade him, hopefully improve somewhere else defensively and call it a day. I can't see the Lions and Avril coming to an agreement, but I certainly can see multiple teams wth cap room going after Avril.

If anybody signs him I'll be blown out of the water if the Lions match, regardless of what the contract is worth.  Two extra first round picks for the Lions would be extremely valuable.... can't see them passing that up. 

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:33 pm

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Not suprised in the least bit -- they used the non-exempt tag too, meaning Avril is free to look for a deal with any other team and the Lions have the option to match the offer OR get TWO 1st round picks from that team.

Anyway you look at it -- it is a huge win, win situation for the Lions. 

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:45 pm

Lions use franchise tag on Cliff Avril

Good move by the Lions!

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