Three reasons the Lions need to sign Avril to long-term deal
Three reasons the Lions need defensive end Cliff Avril to return, either with the franchise tag or a long-term deal. Both sides are still talking looking for a deal that will keep Avril in a Lions’ uniform for years to come. General manager Martin Mayhew said last week it is the Lions' goal to get him signed to a long-term contract. He also said he's not surprised it hasn't happened yet.
1. Avril was the best player on the defensive line last season, finishing with 11 sacks. He was a beast. The Lions have two good ends in Willie Young and Lawrence Jackson, but they aren’t the same.
2. Avril is a good teammate and even though he’s young — he's 26 — he has helped develop the younger guys.
3. He’s considered one of the core younger players on the Lions’ roster and could be a solid player for several more years.
(Until the start of training camp, the Lowdown lists will appear daily, Monday through Friday. Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Email her at Paula.Pasche@oakpress.com.)