5 Reasons Detroit Lions Must Appease Cliff Avril's Long-Term Needs
The 26-year-old defensive lineman for the Lions and is one of the better young players in the league. He has been with the Lions since 2008 when he was drafted out of Purdue.
He has been through the ups and downs of the team and hopes, according to The Detroit News, to remain a Lion for a long time. He hopes that he and Lions' President Tom Lewand can make a long-term deal before the July 16 signing deadline.
Here is why the Lions need to appease his long-term needs.
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The Lions have received some criticism of late for their team chemistry following the altercation between safety Louis Delmas and wide receiver Titus Young.
Yes, the Lions are young, but they have the potential to be great. That all depends on if the team can mature and act like they are among the league's best teams.
If Avril and the Lions can reach a deal, that would be huge for the team getting one of their main pieces back and a player that everyone on the team seems to get along with. Team chemistry relies on this signing and would increase if the deal is made.
Leadership on Defense
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The Lions defense is not desperate for defensive leadership. They have players such as Louis Delmas, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Ndamukong Suh that have been great leaders for the young defense.
Avril could be one of those leaders and among the best leaders on the entire team. Although Avril is also young, 26, he could develop into a guy that can help the younger players in the future as an experienced veteran if the Lions can sign him long-term.
No team can ever have too many leaders, but Avril is one guy that can change the whole outlook of the Lions franchise and develop the young team into a mature team.
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Not many people look at this deal and realize the impact it has on future Lions signees.
In actuality, this deal could make or break the desirability that playing for the Detroit Lions will have for future free agents or players with expiring contracts.
If the Lions can make this deal, it will show current players and future free agents that the Lions care about their players and are willing to get the deal done for such loyal players like Avril. This signing can create more loyalty from other current Lions that could cause them to want to re-sign with the team.
This deal needs to be reached if the Lions want to bring in the big names, while keeping some old ones.
Maintain a Dominant Defensive Line
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Avril had some pretty solid stats last season. He racked up 36 tackles with an impressive 11.0 sacks. Avril is so versatile, he even intercepted a pass in the 2011-2012 season.
It has been a while since the Lions have been a playoff team and had a solid enough defense to get them there. With Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh anchoring the line, Avril would put the Lions defense over the top.
With the maturing of these players every year, they would be a nightmare for offensive lines and quarterbacks around the NFL.
Signing Avril long-term would fit the team's motto, and the Lions would be one step closer to "restoring the roar".
Win the Super Bowl
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The Detroit Lions surprised everyone last year, except themselves. The team believed that they could win over 10 games and make it to the playoffs.
Ndamukong Suh and the Lions had always said that the team had enough talent to make a run in the postseason. Although they were knocked out in the first round last year, this could be the year that the team meets the players' expectations.
The Super Bowl seemed to be a crazy dream just a few short years ago when they finished 0-16. Now, the Lions seem to be a contender and a team that has climbed into the ranks of NFL elite.
Signing Cliff Avril would be huge for the city. It would make a statement to the rest of the league that the Lions are for real and they are serious about winning, and winning now.
Cliff Avril wants to sign a long-term deal to possibly make him a Lion for life; the Lions need to make this deal.