Cliff Avril is the reason the Lions can’t improve year to year. He is the type of player who will not uphold a corporate effort. He wants everything right now.
The Lions had numerous things working against them. They had poor management, inconsistent and ever-changing coaches and a rookie pay scale that punished teams which were bad. Guys like Avril leaving just kept any improvement from ever happening. The fact they have to overpay to get players further inhibits development. It is supported by the league and their darling teams. It is supported by the league showcasing better teams, it is supported by public perception. It is supported by referees we know are biased, whether by ties to gambling or 60 years of ineptitude, they just feel we shouldn’t win. We have had good teams. Overcoming all of this and building a consistent winner is impossible. We have seen it. Cliff Avril is part of the reason why.
I can run off several hundred examples: I’ll trt just a few.
Cliff Avril was a nobody. Our coaches put him in a wide nine ideally suited to his skill set. They developed him. They offered to pay more than he accepted to keep him.
Ndamokung Suh. We offered as much as anyone. He was part of a number one defense. Lest we forget, his sister mouthpiece stated they couldn’t wait to get out of the city, a city they were not model citizens in, fleeing from the law and all, but I digress. This man who claimed to have ties to the city, we invested more and more in from the day we drafted him and he still stiffed us. Right or wrong this is what he did.
We lost Jeff Hartings over 500,000 then we dumped like 8 million on Damien Woody.
We lost Barry. I understand the frustration, but he wasn’t through, but he was. We lost Calvin, who wasn’t through but he was through with the Lions. The NFL played a role in that. We did, too. But if the NFL set those parameters, it is hard to escape them. For those of us old enough to remember NFL championships, well, we know