BY Art Thiel 10:54AM 12/19/2014

Seahawks lock up Cliff Avril: 4 years, $28.5 M

Cliff Avril took a chance coming to Seattle from Detroit on a two-year contract. His faith was rewarded with a four-year, $28.5 million deal.

Cliff Avril has reason to celebrate — a four-year deal. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

A day after LB K.J. Wright got his, DE Cliff Avril got his — $28.5 million over four years, $16 million of which is guaranteed. first reported the news of the contract extension Friday morning. The Seahawks are trying hard to keep together what has been over the past three years the most dominant defense in the NFL.

Avril has been playing more snaps this season than a year ago, when the Seahawks’ defensive line had fewer injuries and more depth. But as the primary rush end, he has 4.5 sacks, tied for 67th in the league, after eight in 2013. However, Pro Football Focus has recorded 38 QB hurries for Avril, which is seventh, just behind teammate Michael Bennett.

The Seahawks’ staff values QB pressure about as much as a sack, because the primary object is to force inaccuracy and interceptions. So the new deal ends speculation that there was any falloff in performance for Avril, 28, who could easily have been voted MVP of the Super Bowl win over Denver. It was his hit on QB Peyton Manning that created the interception that LB Malcolm Smith returned for a touchdown.

Avril, a 6-3, 252-pounder from Jacksonville, FL., and Purdue, was taken in the third round of the 2008 draft by Detroit, where he played five seasons before coming to Seattle as a free agent in 2013. He signed a two-year, $15.1 million deal that was up after this season.

The Seahawks have signed long-term deals with Wright, Avril, Bennett, CB Richard Sherman, SS Kam Chancellor and FS Earl Thomas, with LB Bobby Wagner likely next on the defense. His rookie contract will be up after 2015.




  • 1coolguy

    sure hope there is money left over so that we can shore up the worst unit on the team which is the offensive line. That’s where we need the most help.

    • art thiel

      They know.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    This guy is important to their continued success….Seattle was fortunate to get him when the market was favorable….he has played his heart out and absolutely loves it out here.
    Just a real player putting up real numbers.The guy that is probably the happiest is Mike Bennett …they cant key on MB with Cliff tearing it up from the other side. If Cliff ends up being SB MVP or something this year theres probbaly no way Seattle could have afforded him in free agency. This was a wise business move on the clubs part.
    Go Hawks.

    • art thiel

      Avril is a smart guy playing hard. Carroll’s OKG.

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        I agree. Blue Collar Lunch pail kinda guy with the smarts to accompany it. He worked himself out of the Motor City and onto a SB contender…smart with a capital S to stay in a great situation for he and Bennett are just adept at working well in tandem ….and….for a lot of dough to boot. Go get AZ , Cliff. We need you buddy.

  • Greg

    Just a great team top to bottom doing it right!!! It’s a privilege to behold. Go Hawks!

    • art thiel

      That’s a point that should be appreciated after looking at the NFL messes elsewhere.

  • Now, on to the business of locking up Russell Wilson with money left over to put together an O-Line that can stay healthy for two or three weeks in a row.

    • art thiel

      At this point in the season, all contenders are using at least one backup O=lineman.