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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Cliff Avril leaves Detroit on a short-term deal

By Kevin Seifert

NFL teams occasionally re-sign their own free agents after the market opens, as the Detroit Lions did Wednesday with cornerback Chris Houston. More often, however, those players sign elsewhere once they hit the open market -- a path defensive end Cliff Avril apparently has followed.

Avril agreed to terms on a two-year, $15 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and was en route to the team's headquarters Wednesday night. Further terms were not immediately available, but as NFC West colleague Mike Sando notes, it appears Avril agreed to a shorter team deal to give himself another chance in free agency in 2015, the year he turns 29.

Avril has 29 sacks in his past three seasons, numbers that you would have thought might earn a bigger payday. He played last season on a $10.6 million franchise tag after turning down a three-year deal reportedly worth $30 million.

The Lions had interest in bringing Avril back, from what I understand, and must now decide how to replace both of their starting defensive ends following Avril's departure and the release of Kyle Vanden Bosch. Willie Young is one option; the Lions placed a second-round tender on him as a restricted free agent. Another is newcomer Jason Jones, whom coach Jim Schwartz would said Wednesday would mostly play end. Free agent Lawrence Jackson also has not re-signed, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers free agent Michael Bennett is available as well.