Michael Bennett Vs. Cliff Avril

March 13th, 2013

cliff avril

It seems the Bucs, as Joe referenced yesterday, are smitten with Lions defensive end Cliff Avril.

But is Avril an upgrade? Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune waded through the numbers for a clearer view.

Though Avril, 26, has recorded 29 sacks the last three years, the ESPN Insiders say he has struggled since 2010 to match the sixth-place pass-rush productivity score he posted that year.

Bennett, meanwhile, is coming off a year when his pass-rush productivity score of 71 – which is the combination of all sacks, hits and hurries – ranked ninth among all defensive players.

Avril finished 15th and 40th in that ranking the last two years respectively, but the insiders believe that may have been a result of Avril working in what they say was a predictable Lions pass rush scheme.

As Joe pointed out yesterday, he too dug through numbers and found that in the last five games of 2012, Bennett recorded but two sacks, and both of those came against the dreadful Beagles and statuesque Nick Foles.

As much as Joe harped on Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman for vanishing during key games, which cost the Bucs a shot at a wild card, Joe must be fair and point a finger at Bennett. Your best pass rusher must have more than two sacks in the final quarter of the season when you need your stud players most.

Cummings also points out another reason why Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik may covet Avril: He is a turnover machine, deft in stripping ball carriers.

16 Responses to “Michael Bennett Vs. Cliff Avril”

  1. Robbie_G Says:

    To be honest, I don’t think either one is worth what they are asking. why not double up on corners with Goldson, or find a right tackle. Looks like we can find a good pass rusher in the draft.

  2. Jacko101 Says:

    Of the two bring back Bennett but obviously at 6m per year

  3. FlBoy84 Says:

    Had this on an earlier post but figured it applied here more. Think Bennett really meant it when he said he wanted to give the Bucs a chance to match the over, but obviously got told to shut the h*ll up by his agent. That’s why the interview on PFT was so different than the radio interview he did locally. As much as everyone is screaming to sign Bennett, should be obvious that the team has SO much more insight to the player and access to film, etc that they know him better than anyone on the outside does.

    Couple of interesting comments on TV the other day. Sapp made a comment that he’s seen plenty of guys lately that have had 10 sack seasons that really didn’t affect the game itself with their play. And Pioli made a great insight that one of the main reasons guys becomes busts is that they get signed/drafted but aren’t really a fit in the new team’s scheme or it’s personality. The Pioli comment is what makes me wary of Avril.

  4. Max Says:

    Hey Joe, are you going to be giving us your angle on the deadspin convo between dom and buddy nix? Has OneBuc issued a statement regarding it yet?

  5. T in Orlando Says:

    @ Max

    The only statement released by OneBuc is “No comment” regarding the content of the call, and they will defer to NFL Security regarding any actions to be taken against the “pranksters”

  6. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    Jason Cole (Yahoo) tweeted this morning

    “CB Sean Smith is supposed to be visiting a team today. Not yet sure which one.”

  7. T in Orlando Says:

    The CB market has been pretty soft so far. I wonder if agents are advising clients to wait until something happens with Revis, because if he gets what he wants, $15-$16 million a year, then the other corners could use that as baseline (not that othe CBs would get that much, but if Revis gets $16, other CBs may feel they should get $11-$13 a year). Otherwise they’re using last year’s big money contracts of Finnegan and Flowers, which I think were in the $9 million a year range.

  8. Andrew 2 Says:

    This article is way off. Dude that wrote that about Avril and Barwin originally was wrong.

  9. BadNewsBucs Says:


    I’m not buying that spin that Bennett should’ve had more sacks down the stretch. And seeing how you’re pointing specifically at the Eagles game, which in my eyes was one of the best 1st halves our defense played the entire season w/o getting ANY help from our offense AT HOME. Some, not lost may remember Bennett’s comments after that very game which went something to the effect of “What?! Do we(the defense) has to score too!?”. C’mon now Joe, Freeman single handedly put this D back on the field prematurely with his multiple INTs from the 1st Saints game on, so what’s worse giving up a ton of yardage on D or habitually shooting yourself in the foot on offense? Trick question, the both lead to major suckitiude.

  10. passthebuc Says:

    It’s always fun to chase the sought after starlet, but what do you do once you are married to them. i.e. Wright.

  11. RastaMon Says:

    Sign both…..as 2013 FA upgrades….skip Revis and Golson….use draft picks for corner and safety

  12. SirustheVirus Says:

    Take Cliff Avril and if he gets to us Jarvis Jones in the draft. Fills OLB and DE while giving us pass rush. Just my thoughts

  13. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Smoke, Smoke, Smoke, I don’t buy that there is a fire here. Your 2013 DE starters are Clayborne and Bowers. We don’t need to be paying ANYONE (Avril, Bennet or otherwise) more than 6-8 mil a year to be a rotational player /insurance policy at best. You can draft any DE in rounds 1-3 to be that guy.

  14. BadNewsBucs Says:


    What have the two DEs we’ve drafted in the 1st & 2nd in 2011 done lately? Aaron Morgan & Danny Te’o have outperformed them both this past season, but thanks for the insight.

  15. FlBoy84 Says:

    Not a lot of quality 4-3 DE’s coming out in this draft. Might be better served grabbing one in FA, just need to avoid overpaying for a rotational one.

  16. Travis Dilbeck Says:

    Sign Bennett pick up Sean smith in fa. do the bucs have no loyalty to their own players. i do recall hearing they were concerned with resigning their own players first. we need bennett. bowers will be locked up and clayborne will be lucky to not be on ir again. picking up revis would be nice but not practical if they give up a 2013 first rounder for someone coming off a torn acl and pay him all that money but don’t resign bennett they really need to pull their heads out. avrils a seahawk now and bennett should remain a buc!