Will the Detroit Lions Pay Cliff Avril?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have one of the league’s best defensive front-fours. With Cliff Avril, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Lions are loaded on the defensive line, and Avril is a big reason for that group being so strong. With this type of talent comes a lofty price tag. And it is time for Lions to show Avril the money.

Last season, after a long and painful negotiation, neither side was able to reach a deal on a long-term contract. Avril took the money as a franchise tender (to the tune of $10.6 million) with the hopes of eventually getting a long-term deal. Avril answered with another strong season in 2012 with nine and a half sacks after recording a career high of 11 in 2011. There are plenty of teams that would love this type of production from a defensive end.

Considering how unimpressive the team performed in 2012, there may be a thought that Avril’s money could be used elsewhere. If that’s the case, there will be plenty of suitors for the man out of Purdue. Last offseason, the Chicago Bears were very interested in Avril but he tendered the franchise offer from the Lions. Could 2013 see Avril in a Bears uniform? If the Lions don’t meet Avril’s demands, he could go elsewhere. A team like the Bears may want to take one of their division rival’s best players. Of course, there will be other teams in the mix as well.

Regardless of what happens, Avril will become an even richer guy this offseason. For the sake of the Lions fans, they’re hoping it’s in Detroit.

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