Detroit Lions Free Agency 2011: Should Cliff Avril Stay or Go?

February 1, 2011   ·     ·   Jump to comments

You think this is an easy question, and maybe you're right. But it's not as clear-cut as it may seem.
Cliff Avril, over three seasons, has been perhaps Matt Millen's most successful draft pick, if you consider his production against his draft status.
Avril, a third-round draft selection out of Purdue in 2008, had a pretty decent year in 2008, a slightly better year in 2009 (though it seemed he'd regressed in an expanded role, his stats actually increased in less games played), and a breakout year in 2010.
Over the last three years as a Detroit Lion, Avril has notched 97 tackles, 19 sacks, and eight forced fumbles. Avril has made a name for himself as a young master of the sack-fumble.
And now his rookie contract has come down to the team option year. Pending a new collective bargaining agreement, Avril is a restricted free agent this year, and you have to wonder if some teams—especially those needing a strong pass-rusher—might come calling.<...

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