Free agency hasn't even started yet and already word is leaking out about a potential suitor for defensive end Cliff Avril. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot, the Cleveland Browns are planning to pursue Avril when free agency opens. The Browns also reportedly plan on pursuing Baltimore Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger.
As pointed out by Cabot, the Browns have a connection to Avril via defensive line coach Joe Cullen. He was the Detroit Lions' defensive line coach when Avril was drafted, and Avril had 5.0 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in his rookie season.
In Cleveland, Avril could potentially play 3-4 outside linebacker. That was Avril's position coming out of Purdue, but the Lions drafted him as a defensive end. The pick turned out to be a good one, as Avril has recorded 39.5 sacks since entering the league.
This piece of news is merely the first real sign that Avril will be a hot commodity on the open market when free agency begins. The Lions haven't had many talks with him this year about a new deal, and chances are he will depart for a new team in the next couple weeks.