Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril reported to training camp Sunday morning after passing his physical and finally agreeing to sign the teams $10.6 million franchise tender. Avril had sat out the first eight days of training camp.
Following his decision on Sunday Avril tweeted:
“If ur heart is filled with faith then you can’t fear”… back to work let’s get it #WIN.”
Almost immediately following his tweet fellow teammate Ndamukong Suh also tweeting his excitement to have Avril back on the practice field, noting:
“It’s good to have the Whole Dline in the building now! Welcome back Fam! @cliffavril #Gray.”
Avril held out on his franchise tender contract after failing to reach a longer term deal with the Lions. The contract period for signing a long-term agreement ended on July 18, forcing Avril to sign his tender or sit out the 2012-2013 NFL season.
According to ESPN:
He is the only NFL player with at least 19½ sacks, nine deflected passes, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries the previous two years.
Last season was a career best for Avril who scored 11 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Since 2008 Cliff Avril has had 30 sacks and 14 forced fumbles.
Avril was drafted out of Purdue by the Detroit Lions and has remained with the team ever since, helping the Lions snap an 11-season postseason drought.
If the Lions can’t reach a deal with Cliff Avril by the end of the 2012-2013 season a new franchise tag will cost the team $12.7 million. The Lions will also have the option of allowing Avril to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the upcoming season.