Free agents Cliff Avril and Gosder Cherilus were pretty much a given to depart the Detroit Lions this year. Avril, who was believed to be one of the top free agents on the open market, was expected to cash in with a big deal from another team, and Cherilus was expected to leave and get a pay day as well. Both players did end up leaving, but the deals they got were a bit of a surprise.
Avril's deal with the Seattle Seahawks came as a shock because it's only for two years and $15 million. Avril was hoping for a long-term deal worth a lot more than $7.5 million per year, but clearly the market didn't develop as he had hoped.
It's worth noting that a year ago, Avril turned down an offer from the Lions worth a reported $30 million over three years. He played on the franchise tag and made $10.6 million in 2012, so if you add that to his new two-year deal, he's set to make $25.6 million over a three-year span. That's $4.6 million less than the deal he turned down from the Lions, so his gamble didn't really pay off from a financial standpoint.
Cherilus ended up getting an astounding $34 million over five years from the Colts. I'm not totally surprised that a team was willing to give Cherilus that much, but $6.8 million per year is a lot for a right tackle with knee issues. Cherilus did play extremely well in 2012, but with his general inconsistency over the years, I figured he'd be a bit more affordable for whatever team landed him.