The Detroit Lions' season ended last night with a 45-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints and the team is already thinking about next season.
The Lions can't make any additions until free agency and trading opens on Tuesday, March 13, but it's never too early to start thinking about ways to improve the team. They can start by thinking about which of their current players whose contracts expire they will want to retain.
Defensive end Cliff Avril is one of them:
Avril had his best season with the Lions this year, sacking the quarterback 11 times, recovering three fumbles, and an impressive jumping one-handed interception returned for a touchdown in the team's playoff clincher. Avril was signed to a one-year, $2.6 million deal last offseason after becoming a restrictive free agent when his rookie contract expired.
Avril is likely due for a rather large pay day after a double digit sack season, but the Lions may want to spend their money elsewhere on other needs, such as the secondary. We'll see, though.
Avril was drafted by the Lions 92nd overall in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft.
For more on the Detroit Lions heading into the offseason, check out Pride of Detroit. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.