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Avril not talking to Lions, willing to play in a 3-4

Cliff Avril

Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril adjusts his helmet during NFL football training camp in Allen Park, Mich., Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)


With the official start of free agency four days away and the unofficial launch at midnight tonight, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril is moving closer to becoming former Lions defensive end Cliff Avril.

Avril tells Anwar Richardson of that, as of now, the Lions and Avril’s camp aren’t talking.

We haven’t really been talking, but there’s still a few days,” Avril said. “Maybe they will make a strong push, or we’ll make a push with them. At the same time, we haven’t really been talking. Last year, I got franchised, and we didn’t start talking to them until four or five days before that deadline. I don’t know if that’s their way of doing things, but we haven’t been talking.”

If Avril plays elsewhere, he’s willing to move to linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He’s already been linked to the Browns, and we’ve reported that multiple 3-4 teams are interested in Avril.

“I think I can do it,” Avril said. “I thought I was going to be a 3-4 coming out, obviously. I ended up getting drafted to the Lions at the defensive end position. The weird thing is all the guys out of Purdue from the last few drafts who played end became 3-4 ends. I’m the only one out of all of those guys who played linebacker and became a defensive end. Maybe I’ll join that club, if it’s the case.”

The problem remains that defensive end in a 4-3 often pays more than a 3-4 linebacker. For Avril, though, the real issue will be what any team will pay when it’s time to field offers.

The offers can officially be fielded as of midnight tonight.