Franchise focus: Cliff Avril - NFC North Blog - ESPN. Matt Millen was a disaster for the Detroit Lions, but one of his last draft picks was his one of his best.
DE Cliff Avril certainly benefits from having DT Ndamukung Suh and DE Kyle Vandenbosch around, but Avril's always been a good pass rusher. He's had between 5 and 11 sacks in each of his first four seasons. And he'll only be 26 years old by the start of the season.
I've been expecting the Lions will keep him, I'm sure they want to, but they've got some major salary cap problems. They are almost at the top of the cap already, and Avril could be worth $10 million per season as a young, proven pass rusher. Do you think the Lions are going to be able to keep him? Even placing the franchise tag on him is a problem because they'd have to immediately clear some room by either releasing players or immediately restructuring other contracts.