Cliff Avril has been nothing but class as he has pursued a long-term contract from the Detroit Lions.
Just because he fell short of that goal on Monday, the defensive end isn’t bitter. In fact, he told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press his goal is to receive a multi-year deal from the franchise after this coming season.
But the young Lions team is going to have a lot of players to consider come March and he’s being realistic.
“There’s a lot of guys getting paid on our team, and a lot of free agents next year,” Avril told Birkett. “Some of us aren’t going to be back next year, unfortunately. But I’m not worried about next year right now, I’m just worried about getting better and being prepared for when I do go back to work.”
Birkett has said he will not be in training camp on time and will spend time with family to celebrate the first birthday of his son. But he doesn’t sound like an angry man, and he still will earn $10.6 million this season.
“No hard feelings at all,” Avril said. “It’s business. The great thing that I learned so early in this whole NFL thing is that it is a business and (general manager Martin Mayhew) and those guys and (president Tom Lewand) and those guys have to do what’s right for the Lions and I have to do what’s right for me and my family.
“Just got to go for it next year. I’m not stressed out about it, I’m not mad at those guys over there. When I get back I’m in the swing of things and I’m trying to get more sacks.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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