Cliff Avril's hold-out saga has come to an end.
The Detroit Lions DE signed a one-year tender Sunday worth an estimated $10.6 million and will play another season in Detroit under the franchise tag.
Earlier this week, I spoke with former Lions great WR Herman Moore, who said he didn't think Avril's holdout would have "that big of an impact on the (Lions)." However, Moore said that Avril was an important part to the defense and that the Lions could use his presence in camp.
Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham wants Avril in camp as soon as possible, according to a Detroit Free Press report. Of course he does. Avril had a career-high 11 sacks in 2011 and has the ability to develop into one of the best pass rushers in the NFC-North.
Cunningham told the Freep that he values Avril's friendship above anything else. That makes sense. Cunningham is close to his players, as he should be.
"First of all, I love him as a human being. And second of all, he's a tremendous football player," Cunningham said. "We talked quite a few times over this situation, this contract thing. But I never talk to him about money.
"I just talk to him about his and my relationship, which is a lot deeper than a coach and a player. He's more of a friend to me than anything. He's a good young man. God bless him. I hope you get here quick."
Avril's holdout wasn't as drawn out as it could have been. It wasn't really that dramatic, either. News of him signing a one-year deal with Detroit should be music to Lions followers' ears. However, he can be slapped again with the franchise tag next season.
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