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Round 2: Cliff Avril Vs. Detroit Lions


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Bring 'em home TD?

Round 2: Cliff Avril vs. Detroit Lions

The defensive end held out last offseason as a restricted free agent. He wanted a lucrative long-term deal, but the Lions topped out at three years and $30 million. Avril decided to gamble on himself and eventually signed a $10.6 million franchise tender with the hope of earning that desired payday in 2013 - from the Lions or another team.

Well, Avril finished with 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles after a career-high 11 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2011.

"I don't think the roulette table has stopped spinning yet," general manager Martin Mayhew said this month, the Detroit Free Press reported. "I don't know if he won the bet yet or not. That's a good question for him, though. But it's not over yet. We'll find out kind of where he is."

Avril wasn't the threat in 2012 that he was in 2011, but he also played with a pinched nerve and the Lions weren't position in the second halves of games where the defensive line could just pin its ears back.

Things haven't changed much in a year. Avril, 26, is still a young, speed-defensive end with much promise. The Lions have some cap magic to make and have both Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh due for long, expensive deals within the next two seasons. Mayhew said he doesn't plan to use the franchise tag in 2013.

The two sides haven't gotten closer after all this time and it's hard to imagine an agreement before Avril hits the open market. Maybe he'll get the cash and years from someone else. Maybe the market will prove the Lions were in the right ballpark. Either way, young pass rushers aren't exactly roaming the streets.

Here's betting both sides will still be gambling on themselves when free agency opens March 12.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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Guest Negatorris

I understand exactly where you guys are coming from, I would absolutely love to draft a stud DE. Problem is, that hasn't worked out so well for us... But, then again, neither has bringing in a FA...

I don't think we've drafted a DE with our first pick since TD got here.

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I don't think we've drafted a DE with our first pick since TD got here.

Pretty sure we haven't taken a DE before the 4th since TD got here. I never understood the notion that TD can't pick DE's. He hasn't tried. I presume it's a combination the Ray Edwards fiasco and maybe even JA98 clouding minds that give this impression. I don't know.

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Will there actually be a real stud DE there at the 32nd pick?

There's a slim chance that Alex Okafer, Margus Hunt or maybe Ziggy Ansah (doubt) will be there.

I know it won't happen but i would love to see this

1. Alex Okafer DE\OLB 6'5 265

2. Sylvester Williams DT 6'3 305

3. Cornelius(Tank) Carradine DE\OLB 6'5 265 (He's Hurt, but would be a sure 1st rounder if not)

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