Sunday, April 6, 2014
Best player No. 9 for the Seahawks
By Terry Blount
In the continuing countdown of the top 12 players for the Seahawks entering the 2014 season, this is the man who left Detroit to have a chance at a Super Bowl ring. And he earned it.
No. 9: Defensive end Cliff Avril -- He was one of three veteran free agents the Seahawks signed in 2013 (including Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel) to improve the defensive line and the team’s pass rush. Avril was everything the Seahawks hoped for, coming up with eight sacks, 15 quarterback pressures and forcing five fumbles in the regular season as a speed rusher off the edge.
He also had five quarterback pressures in the playoffs, including the play that started linebacker Malcolm Smith's 69-yard pick-six in the Super Bowl.
Avril often talked about how he played on a 2008 Lions team during his rookie year that didn’t win a game and how he never would have imagined five years later he would be on a Super-Bowl winner.
Interesting stat: Since 2011, Avril is one of only two players (along with John Abraham) who has at least 25 sacks and 13 forced fumbles.
Contract status: Avril will be the highest-paid player on the Seattle defense in 2014 with a base salary of $7 million and a salary cap hit of $9.2 million. He also will be a free agent at the end of the season.