How ugly will this get between Cliff Avril and the Detroit Lions?


Now we start to see things getting missed and both sides drawing a line in the proverbial sand. For Detroit Lions fans it is not a great situation to watch or bear witness too, and is only slightly better than what other drama has transpired over the course of this off season. Mandatory Mini camps begin next week, and as DE Cliff Avril is quick to point out that camp is mandatory for players under contract, which he of course is not.

I can understand Avril’s position here. After a short contract and a career year he is looking to get paid, but it’s really more than that. This might be his one chance in his career to really get paid, and he is looking for big money and a long guarantee. He, like the rest of us, knows that the next play could be his last, and he is looking to secure his financial position for the rest of his life. Sure, the 10 million dollar offer that comes with the franchise tag is a lot of money but at this point in his career he feels he is worth more, and he might be right.

The Detroit Lions see the 10 million dollar as a substantial investment for 2012, and have the right to use the franchise tag on him again in 2013. That will put a lot of money in Avril’s pocket but not give him the security he may be looking for. However, with the rules being what they are we can also understand the unwillingness of the Lions to negotiate with Avril at this point. It may not be the right position, but is a sound business decision. Let us not forget the Lions do not have a ton of cap space to work with. Any contract with Avril is going to have to be very creative.

However, even though Avril likely will return to this team at some point for the 2012 season, missing mini camps isn’t gonna look good to the Lions or their fans. Yes, I understand Avril is returning to a scheme he has performed well in but every year there are slight changes and I for one would rather have him in camp working on 2012 then out of camp where the potential to find trouble is always looming for a guy with nothing to do and lots of money in the bank.

We are not at a crisis point yet, and yes a lot of the comments we have seen over the past week are mere posturing, but these kinds of words can make contract negotiations more contentious then they need to be. This is a good team and a good player who have mutually benefited from each other. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and they keep that at the center of the contract debate. We will have to wait and see on this one.

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