Vanden Bosch says DE workouts aren't the same without Avril

Posted Apr 19, 2012

As Lions defensive end Cliff Avril and the team continue to work on a long-term contract that will satisfy both parties, Avril’s teammates continue Phase 1 of the offseason training program in Allen Park, which began Monday.

Avril isn’t likely to participate in the offseason workouts without a long-term deal in place, but teammate Kyle Vanden Bosch says there shouldn't be any worries about Avril being in shape when he does return to the field.

“I worked out with Cliff almost every day last offseason, so I know from a physical standpoint he will be ready whenever he gets here,” Vanden Bosch said. "I'm actually hoping to meet up with him sometime this week.

"The unfortunate part of the business sometimes is it is a business. To a degree, I think the team understands. I think he understands where they're at and both sides are hopeful progress will be made."

Avril was designated as the team’s franchise player this offseason, which will pay him a one-year contract worth $10.6 million in 2012. Avril was hoping to avoid the tag with a long-term contract, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement before the March 5 franchise tag deadline.

The Lions have until July 15 to sign Avril long term or he's required to play under the one-year tender.

Though Vanden Bosch fully expects Avril to be in shape when he returns, he says Avril is still missing out on some other things.

“Not being around each other every day and holding each other accountable and being able to push each other through workouts, I think it takes something away from your workouts,” Vanden Bosch said.

“Cliff will miss out on that and it feels like we’re not complete when he’s not here. But we know Cliff, and we know he’ll be ready to go."

Avril led the Lions with 11.0 sacks and six forced fumbles last season in a breakout year.

"The good thing is Cliff will be here next year and that makes me happy."