Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/21/12
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Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril reported to training camp on August 5, ending his holdout after only nine days.After a breakout 11-sack season last year, Avril came into the offseason looking to be paid like a Pro Bowler on a long-term deal.The Lions had other plans, sticking him with the one-year franchise tag.Like many players tagged this year, Avril refused to immediately sign his franchise tender in an effort to force the Lions to come up with a contract.When he still failed to sign the tender on the eve of training camp, Lions fans had real reasons to worry.But after an offseason of negotiating, it’s the Lions who have gotten exactly what the needed. Make no mistake, the Lions need Avril coming off the edge this year. Willie Young and Laurence Jackson are solid, but neither generates pressure like Avril.With the Lions fielding a defensive backfield that may be even worse than last year's, constant quarterback pressure will be essential. Avril’s explosiveness makes this ...
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