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Friday, February 17, 2012
BBAO: Cliff Avril and 'hometown discount'

By Kevin Seifert

We're Black and Blue All Over:

On Thursday, we outlined the options the Detroit Lions have in for retaining free agent defensive end Cliff Avril, who is heading toward a payday after a career-high 11 sacks in 2011. One possibility we didn't discuss was Avril taking a discount to remain with the team that fostered his success, and there was a good reason for that: Players rarely agree to one.

Avril confirmed just that in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, saying in essence that he wants to return to the Lions but that business is business. Avril, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "There's no such thing as a hometown discount in the NFL. Once you can't play anymore, they're going to let you go, so you definitely have to strike gold when you can. That said, if they and another team present the same thing, I'd definitely stay with the Lions."

It's true that players sometimes turn down a slightly higher offer from a team they don't want to play for. But usually the difference is a small percentage of the total package. In a few years, when it comes time for the Lions or whatever team Avril signs with to end his career, that team won't think twice about cutting him. Business is business.

Continuing around the NFC North: