Cliff Avril reports to Lions camp

Cliff Avril has reported for work with the Detroit Lions.

The defensive end missed the first nine days of training camp – and eight practices – but he arrived in camp and was taking a physical this morning, according to the team’s Web site.

That means Avril, who could not get a long-term deal hammered out with the club before the deadline last month, has signed the franchise tag tender that will guarantee him $10.6 million this season. Per the collective bargaining agreement, he will have to go through two practices without pads before he can get to it. But the Lions have their prized end and that is what counts as they prepare for the season.

“If your heart is filled with faith then you can’t fear. Back to work, let’s get it #win,” Avril wrote on his personal Twitter account this morning.

Avril handled himself with class throughout the entire process and never made a public scene as he worked for a big pay day that did not materialize. He has not ruled out signing with the Lions after this season. We’ll see how he does. He had 11 sacks and six forced fumbles last season, big statistics to try to replicate.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune