Detroit Lions fans have kept a close eye on the career of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril. A mere decade ago, the Lions drafted Avril in the third round and watched his career blossom in the silver and blue for the next five years. After failing to re-sign him, the Lions could only watch as Avril chalked up three more seasons with eight or more sacks over the next five years.
But, sadly, Avril’s time in Seattle has been forced to an end. In Week 4 of the 2017 season, Avril suffered a serious neck injury that eventually required surgery and cost him the rest of the year. On Friday, the Seahawks released Avril after he failed a physical.
The injury has been called career-threatening, and that may or may not be the case with Avril. Writing for The Player’s Tribune, Avril wouldn’t commit to retirement. “As of right now, I’m not sure what the future holds for me,” Avril said. “A lot of people have been asking me if I’m considering retirement, and all I can really say is that I’m working closely with my doctors and that I’m going to make the best decision for myself and my family when the time is right.”
Thank you 12s for making the last 5 years in Seattle so amazing! Your cheers on Sundays are unmatched, and you guys are by far the best fans in the NFL! Most importantly, I appreciate and value the lifelong friendships I’ve made. You all have supported my family, my foundation (the Cliff Avril Family Foundation), and I throughout my entire tenure, and I could not have asked for more! THANK YOU to the entire Seahawk organization as well as my teammates. You all made me a Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champ! I am forever grateful. THANK YOU! #HAITIANCREATION
Even if Avril does decide to retire, he has a decade’s worth of football to be proud of. In just over nine seasons, Avril has 299 tackles, 74.0 sacks and a whopping 29 forced fumbles. Here’s hoping Avril continues a successful career, whether that means playing football or starting the next phase in his life.