Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cliff Avril wants to get paid

The Detroit Lions face some key offseason decisions. The decisions they make will shape the future and deteermine whether they will move forward or fall back next season. One of the bigger decisions will be what to do about Cliff Avril.

Avril, a defensive end, had a career year with 11 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, an interception and 2 touchdowns. Avril benefited from playing alongside Ndamukong Suh, but he has always produced. Now that he's a free agent, Avril is looking to cash in. And who can blame him. In the NFL you get the money while you're hot.

He discussed his situation in an interview with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein on  SiriusXM NFL Radio today. He wants to remain a Lion, but he won't come cheap.

"I just want to be paid as one of the guys that's helping the team grow," Avril said. "I want to be there. We have a young D-line. But I know it's a business, and you only hit free agency once or twice in your career, so you definitely have to take advantage of it."

"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." 

"I kind of think the Lions will try to do the right thing, I guess," he said. "A lot of teams don't think the Lions will let me hit free agency. But a few teams have called."

He also said he would favor a team that focuses on the defensive line rather than linebackers or safeties. That would work in Detroit's favor.

This is what scares me as a Lions fan. Eventually players will want to get paid and there won't be enough to go around. That could stunt the growth of this team.