Seahawks finalize signing Cliff Avril to 2-year deal
While the deal may provide short term security for Cliff Avril, who declined a three-year $30 million contract extension by the Detroit Lions last season, it still gives him an opportunity to become a productive part of the a Seattle Seahawks defense that comes out as an even stronger Super Bowl contender out of NFC in 2013.
"As far as for me, I had an opportunity to come out here and the opportunity presented itself and I had to jump on it," Cliff Avril explained his decision. "Once again, it's a winning team, they have a bunch of great players, young players on their team that seem to love the game and I want to be part of it."
For the Seattle Seahawks, instead of waiting a draft pick, the team signed quality edge rusher in Cliff Avril at a bargain. Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is excited by the prospect of playing the 6-foot-3, 280 pound lanky speed rusher who promises to again land double-digit sacks in the near future. Cliff Avril seems like a well fit into coach Pete Carroll’s scheme, and due to his prior experience at playing linebacker in college, Avril could also easily drop into coverage.
"I don't feel like you can have enough speed pass-rushers on your club," said Pete Carroll. “He's been very productive as an edge player so we're really excited to add him in.”
“He's got definite pass rush ability as a featured rusher, he's played linebacker in his past and done a lot of dropping over the years,” added Pete Carroll, “so he gives us a real flexible athlete we can fit in in a number of different ways."
Moreover, with defensive end Chris Clemons coming off surgery to repair torn ACL and not expected to return until 100 percent healthy, Cliff Avril could also provide protection for the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll still expects Chris Clemons to fully recover by the start of 2013 regular season.
The former thirds-round pick in the 2008 draft, Cliff Avril, spent the past five seasons with the Detroit Lions amassing 168 tackles, 39 ½ sacks (fifth highest in franchise history), one interception returned for a touchdown, 12 passes defensed and five fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown in 73 game appearances. Last season, Cliff Avril had 9 ½ sacks, 25 tackles and one pass defensed. However, Cliff Avril had his career-best season in 2011, posting his most-career 11 sacks (also seventh leading in NFC) that season, along with six forced fumbles and an interception. The 26-year-old Cliff Avril has started all games over the past two seasons.