Cliff Avril: Lions DE Signs Franchise Tender to Play with Detroit in 2012

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Cliff Avril: Lions DE Signs Franchise Tender to Play with Detroit in 2012
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Cliff Avril holdout drama has finally ended. According to ESPN, the defensive lineman has signed his franchise tender and reported to training camp with the Detroit Lions on Sunday morning. 

Avril was holding out in hopes of getting a long-term deal with the Lions, but that pursuit has ended. He passed his physical on Sunday and signed his $10.605 million tender.

Most franchise players end up caving and reporting to camp simply because they can't pass up that kind of money for a single season. And that's exactly what happened with Avril here: The 26-year-old defensive end couldn't let that much money go while he waited for the Lions to give him a long-term contract. 

Over the past two seasons, Avril was the only player in the NFL with at least 19.5 sacks, nine passes deflected, seven forced fumbles and four recovered. He's a key part of a Lions defensive line that has the ability to be one of the best in the NFL. 

He missed about a week of camp, but that shouldn't hurt a sold veteran like him, as he will be entering his fifth season and already knows the drill as far as preparing for the regular season goes.

Avril has played in 57 career games and has 133 tackles, 30 sacks (including 11 in 2011), 14 forced fumbles and one interception. The Purdue product is incredibly athletic off the edge and pairs nicely fellow end Kyle Vanden Bosch and tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Now that Avril is in camp and with the team, the Lions can worry about shoring things up instead of trying to replace one of their best defenders. 

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