The Lions haven't closed the book on re-signing free-agent defensive end Cliff Avril, but you get the feeling they are at the mercy of the market, hoping that a flood of available veteran pass rushers and NFL-ready draft prospects will knock down his asking price.
"We just have to wait and see," coach Jim Schwartz said Thursday.
"He was very productive and a great fit for our scheme. He was drafted before I got to Detroit but has really developed. As we go forward, the market will determine what happens."
Avril will certainly be on the top tier of free-agent pass rushers on the market and he will be seeking a multi-year deal that starts at no less than the $10.6 million he played for last season. But the talent pool is deep with the likes of Michael Bennett (Tampa Bay), Michael Johnson (Cincinnati), Paul Kruger (Baltimore), Anthony Spencer (Dallas), Connor Barwin (Texas), Dwight Freeney (Indianapolis), Richard Seymour (Oakland) and Osi Umenyiora (New York Giants).
In addition, pass rushers Jarvis Jones (Georgia), Bjoern Werner (Florida State), Damontre Moore (Texas A&M), Ziggy Ansah (BYU) and Dion Jordan (Oregon) are all expected to go in the first round.
There is a chance a saturated market could drive prices down — the Lions hope so, anyway.
"Cliff has played great football for us and could continue to do the same thing," Schwartz said.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130222/SPORTS0101/302220324#ixzz2LdwECgu0
Lions hope to re-sign DE Cliff Avril for less
Detroit News | Feb 22