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Sunday, August 5, 2012
Hard to worry about Cliff Avril's late report

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

As far as holdouts go, Cliff Avril's was pretty harmless. In fact, technically speaking, you couldn't call it a holdout because he wasn't bound to a contract until he reported to Detroit Lions practice Sunday morning and signed a franchise tag tender worth $10.6 million.

In essence, Avril capitalized on a once-in-a-career opportunity to protect himself from the most grueling portion of training camp. He missed half of the Lions' 16 scheduled training camp practices, but unless he reported in poor shape -- an unlikely possibility given his contract status -- the impact should be minimal.

In the meantime, the Lions gave extended work to backups Willie Young and Lawrence Jackson, both of whom are expected to be contributors in 2012. It's possible we'll look at Avril's late arrival differently in a few months, it barely registers on our highly-tuned controversy scale here in the NFC North.