The Lions have made it known that their top priority for the offseason is to lockup DE Cliff Avril but he apparently isn’t willing to commit to the idea. Avril does mention that he would like to return to Detroit but intends to leverage his situation to maximize the value of his next contract.
“I wouldn’t say it’s out of my control, but it’s up to them if they want me here,” said Avril a few weeks ago, per Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News. “Can it get messy? I think so. I definitely want to be here, but I’m not gonna get low-balled either. I got a family and a lot of people that depend on me. There’s no point in getting this opportunity and not being able to take advantage of it.”
Avril’s racked up 30 sacks in the past four seasons so it’s not as if the Lions haven’t had an opportunity to address his contract before he was set to hit the open market. Avril continues to mention that he would like to return but seems practical about the process.
“I try not to think about it, honestly,” Avril said, per the Detroit Free Press. “I feel like everything will play itself out. I would love to be a Lion, I’d love to be in Detroit. I’ve been here four years, I see how good the team can be, and I’d like to be a part of it. But it’s also a business. Like I said, I think it will play itself out and hopefully I’m here.”
Some had suggested that Avril could have interest in returning to Jacksonville since it’s his home town but that too has been shot by Avril unless they’re willing to agree to his contract demands.
Detroit has already invested heavily in their defensive line but Avril could net another ridiculous deal which would limit the team’s ability to fill of their roster holes during the offseason. Detroit’s best option could be to use their franchise tag on him which will cost them $10.6 million for next season.
If Avril does become available you can expect to see plenty of interest from team’s like the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Seattle Seahawks.