Who wins this one?
The one thing about this time of year is that no one who covers the NFL or works for an NFL team gets much sleep. Last night I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 4:00 AM knowing that is about the times that moves start happening on the East Coast.
The morning was mostly quiet as for the realm of things that effect the Seahawks. John Schneider and Pete Carroll were doing interviews for various media outlets, but that was about it.
Then came the not so surprising news that former Seahawks defensive tackle Jason Jones had signed a 3 year contract with his home town Detroit Lions. Despite expecting Jones to move on, it is always unfortunate to see a quality player leave the organization.
For the most part the NFC West was quiet today until Dashon Goldson signed with the Buccaneers, leaving the 49ers with a major need at safety. Some minor moves were made that effect the division, like the Cardinals signing Rashard Mendenhall and Drew Stanton.
Until. . .
Shortly before 4:30 PM Pacific time Albert Breer reported that Lions’ defensive end Cliff Avril had “Agreed to terms with Seattle.”
With Chris Clemons injury, there has been a big question mark at the Leo position. It is almost certain Clemons will miss significant playing time at the beginning of the season.
Best case scenario he comes back around the mid season mark.
John Schneider made it clear in interviews that the team was going to look towards bolstering its pass rush this offseason, well he just did. Ask me in 2 years if I really like this signing.
Avril declined a 3-year, $30 million deal with the Lions last year. Instead, he settled for a two-year deal worth a reported $15m with Seattle. If Avril thrives in our D, he’ll get another crack at free agency at 28 years old.
Cliff Avril will fit in the Seahawks system as their new Leo nicely.
Over the last three seasons Cliff has amassed 29 sacks in 49 games, a rate of 0.59 sacks per game. During those same 3 years Chris Clemons recorded 33.5 sacks in 52 games, a rate of 0.64 sacks per game.
Some will argue that Avril is a product of being fortunate to line up next to Ndamukon Suh. However, in the two games where Suh was suspended in 2011 Avril averaged a sack per game. Besides, look at Clemons, he is definitely a product of the Seahawks system.
Before coming to Seattle Chris had 20 sacks in 5 seasons.
Cliff is about four and a half years younger than Chris as well.
I’m not saying the Seahawks will part ways with Clemons because of this signing, mostly because of the amount of dead money it would leave on the Seahawks cap, but it definitely eases the loss of Clemons if he cannot play and/or is released.
Two days into the league year and the Seahawks have filled 2 of their top 5 needs.
The Seahawks should have money to add some more free agents and still have a ton of draft picks.
Great move by the Seahawks, they are beating the 49ers in the offseason arms race so far. Still a lot of time left to see how this all plays out.