According to Albert Breer the Lions last ditch attempt at landing Cliff Avril was $30 million over three years with a reported $20 million in guarantees.
Apparently Cliff feels that he is worth more than that, and quite frankly whether he is or isn't, he will likely get paid accordingly. He has no reason not to play under the franchise tag this year which will reward with with $10.6 million for the season, and next year he will become an unrestricted free agent and if he doesn't like the Lions' offer, the young pass rusher will have no shortage of suitors.
The Lions would love to keep Cliff around, he is a key part of their defensive scheme, but make no mistake about it, he is not an elite pass rusher in the NFL. Cliff posted his best season with 11 sacks in 2011, but it was done while primarily being blocked one on one, rarely facing the double teams that the leagues premiere pass rushers face. He is ideally suited for the wide 9 defensive front, and honestly would not be as productive in some other systems. Cliff also gets the luxury of being part of an 8 man rotation, allowing the edge rusher to be fresh more often, something most other teams can not afford to do. Lastly, as much as I love Cliff's attitude, athleticism, and motor; he isn't that good against the run. The wide 9 system makes it look worse than it is, but he is not great at stacking the edge at the point of attack.
Conclusion: Avril's best option would have been to sign the deal to stay in Detroit, where the system and players around him will put him in the best position to succeed. However, the reality of a short NFL career and the allure of big money could be too great to pass up. Expect Cliff, if healthy, to play his last season with the Lions, and land with a team that is going to overspend to land the former Boilermaker. As a Lions fan I hate to admit that I expect him to be gone, because he has really grown since his rookie year, but the Lions can not afford to overpay for his services. Hopefully Lo-Jack, Willie Young, and Everette Brown continue to make strides in 2012, because they may be the face of the Lions' pass rushing presence from the outside.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Posted by Michael David Smith on July 16, 2012, 8:03 PM EDT
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was arrested on Monday in the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas.
Fox 4 in Dallas reports that Bryant faces a Class A family violence charge and has already bonded out of jail. No further information is available about what transpired leading to Bryant’s arrest.
Bryant confirmed to WFAA in Dallas that there had been an incident, but he would not go into any details about what the incident was.
“I’m good, I’m good,” Bryant told the TV station.
Bryant is a very talented young receiver who has had some off-field red flags in the past, but none of those past red flags — ranging from NCAA eligibility issues to financial problems — had included an arrest. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has been one of Bryant’s strongest supporters, will surely be extremely disappointed by this development.
Bryant boasted recently that he’s in phenomenal shape and quicker, stronger and faster than last year. But this is just the latest incident to raise questions about whether a failure to keep his head on straight off the field will prevent him from realizing his potential on the field.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 8:26 PM
Posted by Darin Gantt on July 16, 2012, 3:59 PM EDT
Ravens running back Ray Rice will probably be the last of the 21 franchise-tagged players to get a long-term deal.
Per multiple reports (the first tweet I saw was from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King), Rice agreed to a multi-year contract minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline.
Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times then chimed in with the fact Rice received a five-year, $40 million deal, with $25 million in the first two years.
Unless something happens in the next two minutes, that means 12 of the 21 tagged players reached long-term deals.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 5:28 PM
Posted by Josh Alper on July 16, 2012, 2:56 PM EDT
The deadline to sign players with franchise tags to long-term contracts is creeping ever closer and it looks like we can stop holding our breath from news out of Detroit.
Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that the Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril have broken off negotiations on a new contract. Barring a really last-minute change of heart on either side, that means Avril will be set to make $10.6 million this season. Avril hasn’t signed his tender, but it seems unlikely that he would hold out into the regular season and risk missing out on that money.
Holding out wouldn’t help Avril get a contract. Avril and any other tagged player who doesn’t reach agreement on a contract before 4 p.m. ET are not permitted to sign a long-term deal with their teams until after the end of the 2012 season.
Avril could be franchised again next year at a cost north of $12 million, something that would come into play if he matches or exceeds last year’s production. Avril had 11 sacks, an interception and six forced fumbles for the Lions in 2011.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 3:13 PM
Posted by Darin Gantt on July 16, 2012, 12:41 PM EDT
We have our first deal of deadline day.
The Bears have agreed to a long-term contract with running back Matt Forte, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Forte had held off signing his $7.7 million tender, and had stayed away from offseason workouts with the Bears.
He makes the 10th of this year’s 21 franchise-tagged players to reach terms on a long-term deal. Teams have until 4 p.m. today to do such deals.
Stay tuned for more on this one, and the rest of them, throughout the day.
UPDATE 12:52 p.m. ET: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports it’s a four-year deal that averages $8 million per year.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 2:18 PM
Posted by Michael David Smith on July 16, 2012, 1:57 PM EDT
Lions running back Mikel Leshoure won’t play 100 percent of the season, but he is declaring himself 100 percent healthy.
Leshoure, who tore his Achilles tendon at the start of training camp last year and was on injured reserve for his entire rookie season, says that after nearly a year of rehab, he is officially 100 percent healthy and that his Achilles is feeling better than ever with ten days to go before the Lions’ veterans report to training camp.
That answers one of the two major questions about Leshoure, whether his health will prevent him from becoming the kind of running back the Lions thought he’d be when they took him in the second round of last year’s draft.
Now for the other question: Will Leshoure’s off-field problems prevent him from making the kinds of contributions the Lions were expecting from him? At the very least, he’ll miss the first two games of the season while he serves his suspension for his two marijuana arrests this year. The Lions have to hope Leshoure can stay out of trouble, while also staying healthy.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 2:15 PM
Every team in the NFL has at least one or two of these position battles every year, and 2012 is no exception to the rule. The 2012 NFC has a number of teams with position battles that could extend all the way out until September, with the potential that they won't even be resolved by the time the regulars season kicks off.
One of the position battles that is going to keep most of the Pacific Northwest buzzing is the quarterback position for the Seattle Seahawks. The position belonged, almost by default, to Tavaris Jackson last season. The Seahawks looked like they were set to replace Jackson during this offseason when they signed Matt Flynn to a three-year contract worth almost $20 million.
Flynn's stock saw quite a boost in January when he threw for six touchdowns against the Detroit Lions, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has maintained that the position is up for grabs. With Tavaris Jackson quietly putting together one of his best seasons in 2011 and having experience on his side, the position battle could go either way. Flynn's upside is obviously higher, but Jackson's veteran status is valuable in a league like the NFL.
Another interesting battle is happening in the NFC, but this one is set in Chicago. The Bears are heading into 2012 looking very rejuvenated. Jay Cutler will be back from injury, and Chicago has reunited him with an old favorite target in Brandon Marshall. The team is set at running back with Michael Bush and a re-signing of Matt Forte on the horizon, and their two starting wide receivers are basically etched in stone. The position battle on the Bears to keep an eye on is for the slot receiver role.
There are two key players who might serve as the team's third wide receiver: Longtime Bear Devin Hester and newcomer Eric Weems. Hester has the advantage of being experienced with the Bears personnel and offense, as well as being one of the fastest players the league has ever seen. Weems, though, was a borderline Pro Bowler in 2011 and was a solid contributor for the Atlanta Falcons in seasons gone by. Loyalty favors Hester being the starter, but objectivity favors Weems taking the role. It will be interesting to see how things play out in Chicago during training camps and the preseason.
The third position battle in the NFL that's going to draw enormous amount of attention is the starting running back job for the Washington Redskins. Unlike the Bears, the Redskins aren't expected to be in contention for a Super Bowl this season. They do, however, have Robert Griffin III - one of the most hyped quarterbacks the league has seen in some time. That's going to bring even more national attention to the team, and many of those following the team will immediately look to the running back position.
There are three players expected to compete for the job: Tim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Helu looks like the favorite for the job, as he led the team in rushing last season. However, blocking and protecting RG3 is going to be a major point of importance. That alone might tip the scales in favor of Tim Hightower, who has several years more experience than either of his two competitors. Coach Mike Shanahan's tenure in Washington has been underscored by constant shuffling at the position though, and for that reason it won't be surprising if the position is still up in the air when the preseason ends.
These battles are close to being resolved. The regular season kicks off on September 5th, giving teams less than two months to figure out who their starters will be and let their starting units develop chemistry together. For fans of teams with starting jobs still up in the air, now is a very exciting time to be an NFL fan.
Be sure to check out the top position battles in the AFC heading into 2012.
Posted by Don Phan at 11:49 AM
There will be a number of position battles this season, particularly in the AFC. Some teams, like the Colts, have just blown up their entire roster and are searching for new starters at seemingly every position. Others, like the Patriots, are coming off of successful seasons but have major holes to fill. Either way, it's going to be interesting to see how these battles play out.
What's interesting is that the most significant position battle, and one that will likely last until one of the players involved is traded or leaves in free agency, was completely manufactured. The Jets did everything short of building an extended-stay hotel for members of the media when they traded for Tim Tebow this offseason. While the team had an established, if not elite quarterback in Mark Sanchez, they still went out on a limb and acquired the polarizing Tebow.
Although the Jets coaching staff has said they have no intent to replace Sanchez and instead want to use Tebow in a hybrid role, there is a massive legion of Tebow fans who will let their voices be heard whether Sanchez succeeds or not. One only has to look at what happened in Denver last year to recognize that. The starting quarterback position for the Jets is going to be scrutinized with every sack, tipped pass and touchdown this season.
Misery loves company, and the Jets aren't the only team with a quarterback question in the AFC. The Dolphins have generated a lot of media coverage of their own with their selection of Ryan Tannehill in the draft with the number eight pick, and their subsequent announcement that the job was Matt Moore's to lose. Making matters even more complicated is that the Dolphins also signed David Garrard this offseason. If Moore wins the starting job and falters, there will be pressure to replace him - and the Dolphins have two viable options to do that.
Proving that position battles aren't just for the leagues Wild Card teams is the current receiving situation in New England. Working under the assumption that the Wes Welker contract situation is resolved, he and Brandon Lloyd will anchor the first two starting slots. That leaves a handful of players to contend for the remaining two spots, and it's hard to believe that Deion Branch won't occupy one of them. Brady loves throwing to Branch, and Branch's veteran savvy will pay dividends.
That means that Donté Stallworth and Julian Edelman will likely compete for the final spot. Stalworth is in his second stint with the Patriots, while Edelman has been used in nearly every capacity by the Patriots. This position is likely to come down to which receiver can build a stronger rapport with Tom Brady. Edelman has obviously been on the more recent teams, but Stallworth was valuable during his first tenure in New England and served as one of Brady's favorite targets. This slot will come down to who performs better in training camp. Even though whoever gets the nod will be listed fourth on the depth chart, it's a well-known fact that Brady loves to spread the ball around. This battle is much more important than it appears at first glance.
With the 2012 season looming just seven weeks away, many of these battles are going to start being resolved. Seeing who wins them will be interesting, but what will be more exciting is seeing whether the right move was made. That's something that might take months to gauge, but will be exciting to watch.
Be sure to check out the top position battles in the NFC heading into 2012.
Posted by Don Phan at 11:34 AM
Posted by Josh Alper on July 16, 2012, 10:21 AM EDT
Some details about what led to Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil’s arrest in Miami over the weekend have come to light.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post had a look at the police report which describes a scene of road rage that tipped over into an arrest. Dumervil and another man were driving on Collins Avenue in Miami on Saturday afternoon when a white Impala cut them off and witnesses said that led to horn blowing and verbal threats from Dumervil’s vehicle. Dumervil and the other man, Andy Auguste, are accused of then approaching the Impala when traffic stopped and lifting up their shirts to display firearms.
Police were called and they caught up to Dumervil’s car while it was still stopped in traffic. Officers asked Dumervil if there was a gun in the car, he said no and a search of the glove compartment turned one up. Dumervil and Auguste were both arrested at that point.
Dumervil’s attorney Harvey Steinberg said Sunday that it is unlikely that charges will be filed in the case, although there’s been no comment to that effect from police in Miami. Dumervil was released on $7,500 bail and now awaits the next steps in the case.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 11:31 AM
Posted by Darin Gantt on July 16, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT
Well, at least Greg Hardy has four doors and fenders this time.
The Panthers defensive end was apparently feeling good after his workout this morning, good enough to go speeding away from whatever weight room he was in.
Hardy posted a picture on Twitter of a Bentley speedometer registering over 100 mph Monday morning, with the caption “Ride n in the big B.”
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 11:22 AM