Report: Bucs Pushing Hard For DE Cliff Avril

March 12th, 2013

DaQuan who?

Jason LaCanfora of is piping in this morning with word that the Bucs may approaching Lions free agent defensive end Cliff Avril with a whatever-it-takes mentality.

Avril is a fast, manbeast who rushes off the left side, like DaQuan Bowers and Michael Bennett, and had 9.5 sacks last season after an 11-sack campaign in 2011.

Cliff Avril is the best in breed here, and the Lions desperately want to retain him, though that seems less likely by the day. The question is whether he reaches $10 million per year, which would help set the rest of the market for pass rushers. Tampa Bay is pushing hard for a pass rusher and several league sources believe they’ll do what it takes to get Avril. Michael Bennett is bracing to leave the Bucs, and he is drawing nice interest as well, with the Eagles and Falcons also deep in on players at these positions.

How well does Avril play the run? Joe isn’t certain, but Joe’s pretty confident he doesn’t compare to Michael Bennett in that area. But Avril will get after the passer in a huge way.

He turns 27 next month and is originally from Jacksonville. Perhaps he wants to come home? Here’s a highlight reel of Avril below.

46 Responses to “Report: Bucs Pushing Hard For DE Cliff Avril”

  1. You Go Joe Says:

    Joe this feels like the buccs want to improve all the positions we need in the offseason the use the draft as a future for the buccs.

  2. CT Bucs Says:

    I dont have much interest in Avril. I would prefer to keep trying to draft our guy at DE if they feel like Bowers and Claiborne are not the answer. There will be a couple of draft choices on the board this year. To me its better to pick up free agents int he Secondary rather than the D line.

  3. T in Orlando Says:

    I have no problem with this signing IF we also bring in two starting caliber CBs; one on the Sean Smith/Cary Williams level, the other on the Derek Cox level.

    If we make all 3 of those signings AND bring in Goldson, those moves alone should propell this pass defense into the top half of the league, maybe top 10.

    And with a Defense like that, that should mean Freeman will have completely run out of excuses (not that he puts them out there, but his defenders do); a top 5 OLine, top 10 skill position groups, and a top 15 defense; he will have all the tools he could need, and a defense that shouldn’t make him feel he has to go out and score TDs on every drive.

  4. Gus Says:

    I would love it if Avil came here. We have to sacrifice the run a little bit to get to these dynamic qbs we have in our division.

  5. mike Says:

    This is SMOKE. If the bucs werent set to go forward with Bowers and clayborn, then they would have spent the money on Bennett!!!!! There is a possibly they draft a DE or sign a stop gap like abraham or freeny But they wont commit big $ to Avril or Bennett.

  6. RCH Says:

    5 more hours

  7. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Wow….whatever it takes huh!! Unless avril dont want the bucs sounds like he will be in tampa really soon. I like it!! Avril plus goldson n two CBs!! I call that a WIN and one helluva offseason. Im crossing my fingers.

  8. Dave Says:

    If they land Godson at FS and Smith or Grimes CB AND Avril…………….. WOW!!!!

  9. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    Lie…flat out stupid rumor

  10. Dave Says:

    I don’t expect all of them but a DE and CB of the caliber they are talking is fantastic!!!

  11. Robbie_G Says:

    Awesome, a pass rusher in his prime, more established then Bennett. Come on Dom,
    make it work. Then get the CB help we need.

  12. Fish Says:

    This could be legit, guys. I’m from Michigan and this guy has awesome pass-rushing skills – which is just as important as finding some new DBs.

    I got the feeling early on that Bennett may be overrated. Bowers and Clayborn are already great run-stoppers so it would make sense to go after a pass-rusher.

  13. Dave Says:

    One thing I really do not want to hear is BUC Fans complaining about overspending for a Avril or Smith or Goldson if it happens.
    I heard for 5 years whining and biotching about no money being spent. Well, now they are and that usually means overpaying sometimes (see Wright).
    Avril is worth the 10 million per year.

  14. DougMartin22 Says:

    If they sign Cliff for 10m a year, which he demands, Dom should go grab his stuff. Bennett would come cheaper and would provide some stability on the line. But i dont either one of them (back) here. Spend that money on the secondary.

  15. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I know thats a big wish list but its do able….this would certainly give us more of a BPA mindset in the draft. As well as take some chances on players we really like in the draft. Im so anxious for FA to start

  16. Warrenfb12 Says:

    I think Joe has a man crush on Michael Bennett.

  17. Brandon Says:

    This puzzles me. Avril is good, Kruger is better and younger. Plus, Kruger would be a full-time player, starting SAM LB on running downs, nickel pass rusher on passing downs, that is outstanding versatility…extremely hardworker, great experience in the NFL (SB ring), sounds like a potential posterchild for a Buccaneer Man.

  18. Dave Says:

    I don’t think Avril is a smokescreen (but who really knows).

    It makes all the sense in the world to pay him and not Bennett. Bennett is maxed out at 9 sacks. He is a blue collar guy who I would love on the team but he is the no-name non-splash guy who should not be paid 10 million.

    Avril is a year younger and MUCH faster. He is not bad against the run, but is a much better pass rusher. He can be a double digit sack guy for the next 5 years.
    Rotating Bowers in with him or having Bowers rush from the inside with McCoy on obvious passing downs with Avril and Clayborn on the outside…..

    A CB and/or Goldson at FS along with this move…. Frees up the draft to get a TE and another LB. They will still have to target a CB but maybe in rounds 2-4.

  19. Marques Says:

    I’d still rather have Bennett even more so if we could get his brother down here too.

    I know what I have with Bennett. I’m not so certain what I have with anyone else.

    Sign Bennett even if he is a million more then Avril.

    He is a high character guy with a motor whose teams like a lot.

    Those are intangibles you don’t see in the stat sheet.

  20. Dave Says:


    That is the point. Avril has the pass rush potential to demand 10 million per.
    Bennett is a blue collar guy who should max out at 5 million per.
    The problem is some team is going to offer him more like 9+.
    I would rather pay a double digit sack guy that. Bennett had 9 sacks last year, that is about the max he will ever have. Avril is capable of 15.

    Besides, we all biotch about the pass rush, this could be the kick in the arse they need to really get it going (this and some actual coverage)

  21. Macabee Says:

    From everything I’m hearing which is a lot of Agentspeak I’m sure, the Colts have the lead on Avril. I guessing like everybody else today that this is a salvo meant to tell Bennett to come in out of the rain. If the pre-FA scuttlebutt is right, Bennett isn’t getting the spotlight attention that we’re lead to believe. Like I said, read everything, believe little!

  22. Dave Says:

    Agree completely.

  23. Dave Says:

    If they manage to put Goldson at FS with Barron at SS…

    And Avril opposite Clayborn with Bowers rotating in and playing inside on passing downs….

    AND adding Smith or Grimes plus a rookie CB…….

    Then the playoffs are not the goal anymore, going deep into the playoffs is.

    This will be a complete and total make or break year for Freeman.

  24. ElioT Says:

    He had a half a sack more than Bennett, doesnt play the run as well and wants Mario Williams type cash…

    Am I missing something here?

    I’ll pass on Avril. Let’s get the secondary shored up in FA and we can get a DE in the draft.

    Go Bucs!

  25. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    My comment history talks about letting Bennett walk and instead bringing in Avril.

    You are welcome.

    I also mentioned that we should go get Goldston too.

    Add a few CBs and my predictions will win me the INTERNET!

  26. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Colts have inside track

  27. Teddy Says:

    Does Cliff Avril have anything other than a speed move? If not, he’s one knee injury away from being a ten-million-dollar a year bust.

  28. BucfaninMi Says:

    Avril is a beast,but it could be a smokescreen.The Lions are in the running for Goldson too! going after Avril might make the Lions match or pay more. leaving Goldson for the Bucs.

  29. Dave Says:

    THen don’t complain when they suck a he pass rus again. THey HAVE to mix it p. vri is a double digi sack guy. Benett is not.

  30. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Eagles have inside track to Goldson

  31. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    Avril also has a 5 years history of solid sack numbers.

  32. Dave Says:

    ElioT Says
    Because Avril isa pass rusher. He had 11 last year. He is 26 and on the verge of being a 10-15 sack a year guyfor the next 5 years.

    Bennett had 9 sacks last year. It is the most he will probably ever have. he is just not a big time pass rusher. he is just a solid player.

    The Bucs NEED a big tme pass rusher.

  33. Meh Says:

    Smokescreen. We aren’t signing him imo.

  34. Dave Says:

    WOW Just looked at the video. For all those wondering why Avril and not Bennett for 9+ million….. WATCH THE FILM. Avril is downright explosive. He can be a game changer. Bennett is solid, but that is it.

    Probably, but fun to talk about

  35. ElioT Says:

    @ Dave

    “Because Avril isa pass rusher. He had 11 last year. He is 26 and on the verge of being a 10-15 sack a year guyfor the next 5 years.”

    – Says who? How can you begin to predict this?

    “Bennett had 9 sacks last year. It is the most he will probably ever have. he is just not a big time pass rusher. he is just a solid player.”

    – Are you an NFL scout? Do you know more than Keith Millard about the future and ceiling of Michael Bennett? Or are you maybe a fortune teller?

    Not trying to cause a tiss here but give me a freaking break!

  36. Meh Says:

    Dave, sure is fun. 🙂 Not much more time to play fantasy GM!

  37. Meh Says:

    And as to the issue at hand, I’d take Avril over Bennett. But I wouldn’t pay $10m for either of them. Different players, but they have similar value in my mind of $7m-$8m. But we all know DEs get overpaid more than any other position so…

  38. Jacko101 Says:

    I understand its FA time, most of the noise that I’m hearing is just for the sake of writing a story. (This is the time for media and analysts to shine) but they are failing bad. Ill just wait until something is solid.

  39. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Im not really understanding this one… he’s not that much better than Bennett but they are willing to pay that much more? Kind of disappointing if ya ask me but I’ll trust Dom and Schiano know what they are doing

  40. Buc'It Says:


    How in the world is Kruger better?! Kruger sucks and with you saying otherwise shows that uour football IQ is a single digit. Outside of the SB run this past season what has he done? He’s not a game breaker or playmaker, just a guy who gives effort. Some bonehead GM has a erection over his ring and overlook this and grossly overpay him. Avril has been a premier rusher for years and is still extremely young. . On gameday you account for avril, Kruger wouldn’t even talked about.

  41. Patrick Says:

    I have a bad feeling Dominick is gonna fk this up

  42. Marques Says:


    With Suh he is a double digit sack guy….Suh’s not here. He is trictly a speed guy who never gets double teamed. He is not the answer.

    Unless the number is insane. Bennett will be a buc.

    For the record I would keep Benn too. The best you could get for him is a 5th pick if your lucky.

    I’d rather have Benn instead of the pick.

  43. Paul Says:

    One of the more ridiculous predictions from this FA year. Why in hell would we not just resign Bennett, who is already proven in our system and can be had for equal or less.

    These guys are just manufacturing these stories out of thin air.

  44. Bobby Says:

    Avril would be a great pickup. Bennett is too much of a lone wolf. Tends to break scheme too often. Avril is a better pure pass rusher.

  45. RustyRhino Says:

    Just watched the video thanks Joe! I like Avrils speed something we haven’t really had since Rice was hurt. I Like Bennett $ will be the deciding factor on if he will remain a Buccaneer.

  46. FunkYxMunkeY Says:

    He would be the best DE we could possibly get in FA or the draft. He would help our D out in so many different ways. Him, Gholdson, and preferably Sean Smith would improve our D so much. And would also allow us to try to trade one of our other DE. I also would love to sign Glen Dorsey. He wouldn’t be too expensive and would fit great in a 4-3 D. Playing in a 3-4 in KC never allowed him to perform at a high level. Go Bucs!!