Cliff Avril Wants Long-Term Contract With Lions

Defensive end Cliff Avril sacks quarterback Josh Freeman during a game at Raymond James Stadium.

Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril was tendered earlier this week at the highest possible level. If he were to end up on another team after the Lions declined to match an offer, they would receive compensation in the form of a first- and third-round draft pick. It isn't expected that Avril will sign elsewhere, though, which means the most notable thing about the tender is that it is a one-year deal worth approximately $3.3 million.

Avril is glad that the Lions tendered him, but he isn't planning on signing it for right now. With the collective bargaining agreement about to expire things like this will be put on hold anyway, but Avril isn't signing it because he hopes to work out a long-term deal with the Lions.

"I’m definitely excited that I can be in Detroit at least one more year," Avril said today. "I kind of want something long-term, but we’ll work toward that still."

Avril was the lone starter from 2009 to remain a starter in 2010 on the Lions' revamped D-line. New guys to the team like Kyle Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams and Ndamukong Suh were hailed as the reason the Lions' defensive line played so much better in 2010, but Avril played a big role in their success as well. He had 8.5 sacks in only 13 games and showed that he is a guy the Lions should keep around for years to come.

Considering what Avril had to say about his future and the fact that the Lions valued him enough to give him the highest tender out there, I'd be willing to bet a long-term deal will happen once the new CBA is in place.

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