If the Detroit Lions are going to re-sign defensive end Cliff Avril, they are going to have to give him a deal that is competitive with the market value for a player like him. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise by any means, but Avril confirmed this week that he has no interest in accepting a deal that is considered a hometown discount. He is coming off of a career season and has every intention of getting the best deal he can.
"There's no such thing as a hometown discount in the NFL," he said. "Once you can't play anymore, they're going to let you go, so you definitely have to strike gold when you can.
"That said, if they and another team present the same thing, I'd definitely stay with the Lions."
Avril is absolutely correct in trying to maximize his value. As he mentioned, opportunities like this rarely come along during a football player's career. The chance to potentially hit the open market after having such an outstanding season is one that should be fully taken advantage of, and Avril deserves to be paid.
Whether or not the Lions will be the team paying him remains to be seen. If he hits the open market, I highly doubt the Lions will be able to offer him a deal that is enough to bring him back. Of course, they could always franchise him, which would likely make him a lock to return in 2012.