While he would prefer to stay in Detroit, defensive end free agent Cliff Avril isn’t sure if he would be willing to take a hometown discount to remain with Lions.
“It depends on why I would be taking less money, first off. I don’t know, but we just have to get the numbers going and we’ll see,” Avril said during an interview with NBC Sports Pro Football Talk, per Justin Rogers.“I really don’t know if I would take less right now.”
Avril would later add that his chances of staying with the Lions for next season and beyond is about a “50-50” and that he had “no idea” where he’d be playing next season.
Avril, 26, is in a great position to secure a huge deal on the open market and as much as Detroit would like to retain him, it seems more likely that he’ll be playing elsewhere at the start of the 2013 season.
He has recorded 30 sacks over the past three season, so it’s not going to be easy to replace that kind of production. The Lions released DE Kyle Vanden Bosch a few weeks ago, so they could be in need of two starting defensive ends, assuming that they’re unable to reach an agreement with Avril.
The franchise tag is an option, but comes with a 20 percent increase and GM Martin Mayhew has suggested that he has no intention of using the tag on any player this year.
We have Avril listed as the No. 21 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.