Lions DE Cliff Avril discussed his reasoning for turning down the Detroit’s three-year, $30 million offer and provided some insight into is exceptions for his next contract.
“Last year, going into it, I felt like with all the deals made around me, that wasn’t significant enough for what they were trying to offer me,” Avril said, per Justin Rogers of MLive.com. “I didn’t think that was the right deal to take, so I just played the (franchise) tag. Here we are again. Hopefully, we can figure something out and get my worth.”
Avril, 26, pointed to the contracts of Panthers DE Charles Johnson and Cardinals DT Calais Campbell as comparative deals that he could be targeting. Johnson landed a six-year contract worth $76 million and includes $32 million guaranteed, while Campbell walked away with a five-year, $55 million contract that included $31 million guaranteed.
You can see that the $30 million guaranteed is really the figure that matter most in these two contracts and is likely the main reason why Avril passed on the Lions offer. After all, Detroit was offering him $30 million in non-guarantees.
The most interesting part of Rogers’ article was the fact that Avril brought up Mario Williams‘ six-year, $96 million contract with $50 million guaranteed as the type of deal he would “love” to secure.
“I would love to get Mario’s deal,” said Avril. “Who wouldn’t? Those are some great numbers. My thing is I want to keep getting better. I’m still young. I’m only 26 years old. The sky is the limit as far as that. Those are some great numbers, hopefully we can get somewhere near there.”
You can’t blame Avril for mentioning that he would love to sign that kind of contract during the offseason, but it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be able to come anywhere near Williams’ $50 million guaranteed. The good news for Avril is that he is only 26 and has had at least 8.5 sacks for the last three seasons and should find plenty of interest on the open market. The Lions have said that they have no intentions of using their franchise tag this offseason, which also qualifies as great news for Avril.
We have Avril listed as the No. 21 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.