Cliff Avril turned down a contract reported to be worth $30 million for three years this past offseason and now the Detroit Lions defensive end will soon be a free agent.
The Lions secured Avril with the franchise tag for this season, paying him $10.6 million and Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports it is unlikely the team uses the tag again on Avril. But the Lions would like him back. Avril realizes Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field could be his final with the team.
“It's very possible," Avril told Birkett. "Who knows? I haven't really thought about it. I just want to finish strong, hopefully make some plays this game and figure things out when the time comes, I guess."
Avril hasn’t been dominant on the field this season and has played through a pinched nerve in his back but he leads the team with 9 ½ sacks and he’s always fared well vs. the Bears. He has eight sacks against them and at least one in four straight meetings with the NFC North rival. So, a big game in the finale could launch Avril into free agency where there is always a premium placed on pass rushers.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune