Cliff Avril Proved Detroit Lions Wrong With Seattle Seahawks

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Former Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril, after being slapped with the franchise tag, became too valuable for the Lions to keep him which led the defensive end to the Seattle Seahawks. Now that Avril will be a key participant in Super Bowl XLVIII, how do the Lions feel after letting him go?

Avril joins Denver Broncos linebacker Paris Lenon and center Manny Ramirez as former Lions players who are playing in the biggest game of the season. While Lenon and Ramirez were serviceable players during their time in Detroit, Avril was an up-and-coming star that was finally getting recognized nationally for his work in the Motor City. Unfortunately, despite multiple attempts, the Lions and Avril could not reach a deal to continue the success that he had in the Motor City.

With Jason Jones — the supposed replacement for Avril — on injured reserve for most of the season, a big piece of the defensive line was gone. Just imagine the scenario if Avril stayed and what we could presume to be first-round pick Ezekiel Ansah playing opposite of him. That defensive front that “could have been” — a phrase uttered almost to a fault in Detroit — is scary to think about.

Avril simply could not be paid what he was worth. Detroit also had Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson getting big contract extensions, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will be expecting one shortly as well. With key free agents like Reggie Bush and Glover Quin getting big free agent deals, Avril did not want to go through the franchise tag label for another year.

Fair or not, the Avril departure ultimately goes back to GM Martin Mayhew and former head coach Jim Schwartz. There is a popular internet meme in the style of Lion King that says, “Dad, what’s a Super Bowl” with the response being, “I don’t know son, we’re Lions.”

This time around, once these Lions left their “pride” in Detroit there were greener and warmer pastures awaiting them. Whoever wins Super Bowl XLVIII, a Detroit Lion will be winning the Super Bowl — sadly as a former member of the team.


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  • twelsh36446

    Thanks, but Detroit will be just fine without the one dimensional Avril, who could never defend the run. Avril was overrated and over payed, and as a fan that watched him whiff on 90% of the runs that came his was he was a known weakness here in the NFC North. Green Bay and Chicago ran him over every game, but yeah he got his 10 or 11 sacks most every year. He was hard worker, but just to one dimensional in most Detroit fans and coaches view. Without a great defensive line Avril will shrink into nothingness the next few year.

  • twelsh36446

    Here ya go, I have about 100 more of Avril whiffing on the run while he was busy trying to get to the QB that has already gave the ball to the running back. I have about 15 personal foul penalty shots of Avril hitting the QB after the ball carrier was 3 yards or more up field.

    “With Jason Jones — the supposed replacement for Avril — on injured reserve for most of
    the season, a big piece of the defensive line was gone. Just imagine the
    scenario if Avril stayed and what we could presume to be first-round
    pick Ezekiel Ansah playing opposite of him. That
    defensive front that “could have been” — a phrase uttered almost to a
    fault in Detroit — is scary to think about.”
    Funny I’ve never heard that phrase at any of the practices, or read it anywhere before. Only thing I’ve heard here in Detroit is how much money we saved and how much better Jones was against the run, yet still really good at the pass rush. He could even digest when it was a run or pass which Avril never could.

  • Clayton_Bigsby

    Price/Value equation. Not for the money he wanted. It was the right call. And I’m happy for him…but he was not worth what he was asking from them.