Unlike all the excitement of the Matt Forte signing before the deadline Monday, Detroit Lions Cliff Avril wasn’t as lucky and ended up as one of three players around the NFL not to sign his franchise tender or sign a long term contract.
Avril has already stated that he doesn’t intend to be at Lions training camp when it begins next week. He’s not sure when he will show up for camp and be ready to sign his one year contract underneath the franchise tag. Avril is slated to make $10.6 million for the 2012 season when he does sign his contract, and he will become a unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Lions could franchise him again next season and that would cost them $12.72 million.
With Avril not getting his long term contract signed, it’s just another item to add to the basket of one really bad off season for the Lions. There have been plenty of documented arrests and now their sack leader last season is threatening holding out at least part if not all of training camp. Avril sack totals have increased each season from 5,5.5,8.5, to 11 last season. Avril could force the Lions hand at the end of next season if his production continues to increase, because the Lions have quiet a few contract that will be up on defense at the end of the year, and Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh will also be due for long term extensions.
The Bears do not have to deal with any of these kind of distractions that the Lions do now that Forte is signed long term. The Lions front office has added just another headache in a long line of migraines this off season. Thankfully only football will be the focus going to Bourbannais unlike the Lions training camp in Detroit. Maybe Tylenol will be Buy One Get One Free in the Detroit area in next weeks grocery ads!
It was BEARly worth mentioning, but they are our rivals!