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Cliff Avril, Stephen Tulloch Make Two Top NFL Free Agents Lists

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The Detroit Lions have quite a few players set to become free agents next month. Several talented players are set to hit the open market, including defensive end Cliff Avril and linebacker Stephen Tulloch. Each of these two players had outstanding seasons in 2011, and the hope is they will be brought back in 2012.

Both the Sporting News and CBS Sports recently took a look at the top NFL free agents, and both Avril and Tulloch made the sites' lists. For the Sporting News, Avril came in at No. 10 and Tulloch was listed 20th. On CBS Sports, Tulloch is farther down the list at No. 37, but Avril is in the top five at No. 4. Here's why he is so high on the list:

4. Cliff Avril, DE, Detroit Lions: He has 19 1/2 sacks the past two seasons, including 11 last season. He has developed into a top pass rusher. He turns 26 in April, which makes him even more valuable.

I expect both players to return to the Lions next season, but if either is unable to agree to a deal, you can bet there will be a lot of interest from other teams in the league.