Lions' D-line 'incomplete' with absence of Avril at workouts
ALLEN PARK — One big absence at the start of the off-season program for the Lions is Cliff Avril.
Veteran defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said the defensive line group feels incomplete without him at the workouts.
Avril has been offered a one-year $10.6 million contract as a franchise player, but has yet to sign it. He wants a long-term deal and is working toward that before the July 15 deadline.
Vanden Bosch expects Avril to be in shape when he joins the team but feels he is missing out by not working out with his teammates.
“I worked out with Cliff almost every day last off-season. I know from a physical standpoint he will be ready whenever he gets here. I feel our group is a pretty tight group, the things we did two years ago (in the off-season), working everyday and pushing each other we had a special group,’’ Vanden Bosch said on Tuesday.
“I felt like we were missing some of that last year, being away from each other. We had a couple of player workouts during the lockout, but not being around each other every day, holding everybody accountable. I think it takes something away from your group.
“Cliff will miss out on that. It feels like we’re not complete when he’s not here. We know Cliff, we know he’ll be ready to go when he gets back,’’ Vanden Bosch added.
Avril had threatened to hold out if a new deal was not done.
“It’s the unfortunate part of the business sometimes, it is a business and I think, to a degree, the team understands,’’ Vanden Bosch said. “I think he understands where they’re at and both sides are hopeful that progress can be made.’’
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