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Two-year, $15 million deal shows Cliff Avril bet on himself and lost

Cliff Avril

Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril (92) reacts during an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


The Lions reportedly offered Cliff Avril a three-year, $30 million contract last year. Avril declined, instead signing the franchise tender, playing last season for $10.5 million, and then testing free agency again this year.

In other words, he bet on himself. And he lost.

According to ESPN, Avril has agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Seahawks. That means Avril will end up making a total of $25.5 million for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons -- after turning down the Lions’ offer to pay him a total of $30 million for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Players often like to bet on themselves by refusing long-term deals from their original teams and testing unrestricted free agency. In Avril’s case, that turned out to be a miscalculation.

The good news for Avril is that he’ll get to test free agency again in two years, when he’s only 28. But if the Seahawks offer him an extension after one year, he should strongly consider it.