Similar to what we put together when the trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin was made official, we take a look back at how players reacted to the news that Seattle would sign free agent Cliff Avril – the 6-3, 260-pound, 26-year-old defensive end who tallied 9.5 sacks with the Detroit Lions last season.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was extra-enthused when the news broke, realizing he would no longer have to scramble to elude the pass rusher he faced his rookie season in a Week 8 loss at Detroit … except for in practice, of course.
Avril’s tweet included a link to a photo of him signing his contract on Thursday at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Cliff Avril was looking for a new home. The Seahawks were looking for a player to improve their pass rush.
Each got what they were looking for today, when the Seahawks signed the former defensive end for the Lions to a multiyear contract – on the third day of the NFL free-agency period.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Avril had 39.5 sacks in his first five seasons in the league, including 29 the past three seasons. He was considered one of the top players available in this year’s free agent class, and the Seahawks are a good fit for his talents.
As Dan Hanzus at NFL.com put it, “He doesn’t have to be the big attraction in Seattle, merely a productive part of a greater machine. This makes him a great fit for a defense that somehow just got better.”
Avril, who will turn 27 next month, also had 168 tackles and 16 forced fumbles in his stay with the Lions after being selected in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft.