Underrated Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril becomes a free agent on March 13th. He'd like to sign a new deal with the Lions, and the Lions would love to have him back, but, as always, there are some disagreements on Avril's worth and price. Standard operating procedure with free agents.
On SiriusXM's NFL radio on Thursday, Avril may have said more than he wanted to say.
"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 have called to express interest."
A team calling to express interest in Avril before he becomes a free agent would be a no-no. About a year ago, the Lions themselves got popped for tampering with the Kansas City Chiefs, so they're familiar with the practice. It cost them one seventh-round draft pick and forced them to swap fifth-rounders with the Chiefs, too.
It was a rare example of a team actually getting caught. So what about Avril's comments? Do the Lions get a little tampering revenge?
They do not. Avril backpedaled from his comments pretty quickly, leaving the league without much to go on. Here was Cliff's clarification.
"No other teams, per se, like general managers or anybody has called me or anything like that," Avril told the Free Press. "But I know a lot of guys that I've played with or guys that have seen me play have told me that their coaches have brought me up in a sense of, 'Dang, that guy can play; wouldn't mind having him-type thing.' Never official-type things or anything like that."
So that leaves Cliff and the Lions in the same place they were ‒ attempting to move towards a deal, but with things going very slowly.