Cliff Avril reports to camp
Avril signed his tender Sunday and will make $10.6 million this season as a franchise-tagged player. He didn't report with his teammates to training camp on July 26 and missed more than a week of practice.
"Ready to get this thing rolling," he said.
Avril is the only NFL player with at least 19½ sacks, nine deflected passes, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries the previous two years. He said he knew all along which day he'd report to camp.
"I wanted to spend time with my son for his first birthday, and that was Friday," Avril said. "Then I took a day off to myself -- and back at it."
Avril said he doesn't expect the missed time to affect him too much, and that he tried to avoid news of his holdout while he was away.
"I was kind of watching the Olympics, trying to stay off of ESPN and NFL Network," he said. "I knew what day I was going to come back. I had it planned out."
Avril helped Detroit snap its 11-season postseason drought last year with 11 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He has had 30 career sacks and 14 forced fumbles since 2008 when Detroit drafted him out of Purdue in the third round.
The long-term question now is whether the Lions will have him after this season. He and the team didn't reach a deal to make that happen this offseason.
"I was on a one-year deal last year, and I didn't really think about it, honestly. Now that I've signed on the dotted line, it's all about making plays for the team," Avril said. "I was trying to get a long-term deal, because I like the city. I like the organization."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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