With a week before NFL free agency begins, a name that is growing on me is Cliff Avril. The Detroit Lions defensive end does not look like he is going to stay a lion much longer. Avril should be gone the first couple of days once free agency begins. The Cleveland Browns should be a major player on Avril.
We are talking about a guy who has almost 40 sacks in four seasons in the NFL. If not for Jabaal Sheard‘s two sacks in the final game of the season, 34 year old Juqua Parker would have led the Browns in sacks. Parker is not even on the starting defensive line. A player like Avril could boost the pressure instantly on the d-line.
After receiving a big pay day last year, Avril had a so-so season for the Lions getting 9.5 sacks, 35 tackles, and two forced fumbles. However, with Cleveland switching to a 3-4 scheme, Avril would fit very nicely in Browns’ defensive corordinator Ray Horton‘s defense.
With the release of Frostee Rucker and most likely not re-signing Parker, Avril could be new, but young veteran leadership on the d-line. Avril is only 26 years old. Joe Banner has a history of signing players in their prime and releasing them after they turn 30.
If the Browns do decide to go the defensive end or linebacker route in the draft, a player like Avril mixed with Browns’ captain D’Qwell Jackson, and the defense could vastly improve overnight.
The Browns have almost 50 million in cap space, Avril is very attainable. It doesn’t matter what the Cleveland front office has said recently, expect the Browns to go after a star like Avril.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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