Defensive end Cliff Avril was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Friday with a failed physical designation due to a neck injury that cost him most of the 2017 season.
Avril's release was expected and likely means the end of a 10-year career during which he was a standout player for the Seahawks and the Detroit Lions.
Avril was injured in Week 4 last season while trying to chase down Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The back of Brissett's foot caught Avril in the chin as he lunged to make the tackle. Avril was seen shaking his arms and flexing his hands after the impact.
While the play looked innocuous Authentic Josh Norman Jersey , Avril's head snapped back violently and he suffered a neck injury. Avril never revealed the specific diagnosis for his injury but coach Pete Carroll repeatedly called it a serious situation. Avril had neck surgery following the season.
Carroll praised Avril after Seattle concluded the first day of its rookie minicamp.
"He's been a great leader. He's been a bit of a statesman for us. He always says the right thing, stands for the right stuff and been a really high character guy that you can always count on," Carroll said. "A great competitor in the program. I love him and would like to keep him connected with our club as long as we can because he's just exactly what you hope to represent you. He's had a great career with us."
Avril arrived in Seattle before the 2013 season and instantly helped transform the Seahawks defense into one of the best in recent memory. He was part of a rotation at first but became a full-time starter in 2014. His best season came in 2016 when Avril had a career-high 11 陆 sacks and was voted to the Pro Bowl for the only time in his career.
Avril spent five seasons in Detroit before coming to Seattle. He was a third-round pick out of Purdue and suffered through a 0-16 season in his rookie year with the Lions. He became a standout in Detroit but experienced his greatest team success in Seattle, helping the team win the Super Bowl in his first season with the Seahawks. He made a return trip to the championship game with the team the following year.
"Thank you 12s for making the last 5 years in Seattle so amazing!" Avril wrote in a post on Instagram . "Your cheers on Sundays are unmatched, and you guys are by far the best fans in the NFL! Most importantly, I appreciate and value the lifelong friendships I've made. You all have supported my family, my foundation (the Cliff Avril Family Foundation), and I throughout my entire tenure Womens Drew Brees Jersey , and I could not have asked for more! THANK YOU to the entire Seahawk organization as well as my teammates. You all made me a Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl Champ! I am forever grateful."
Releasing Avril will save Seattle about $6 million against the salary cap. But the Seahawks will also be faced with replacing another productive standout from a defense that had already seen the departures of Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman earlier this offseason.
Ndamukong Suh had his pick of teams when the Miami Dolphins released him last month. The dominating defensive lineman chose the Los Angeles Rams, who have suddenly become a desirable destination.
Whether it's the proximity to great weather, smart coaches or Super Bowl contention, NFL stars have been eager to land in LA during the Rams' intriguing offseason. The 300-pound Suh is the biggest one yet, in every way.
"I think everybody looks at everything on paper, and I would say we're in pretty good shape on paper," Suh said Friday.
"But we have a lot of things to prove, and really myself. I always play with a chip on my shoulder Kirk Cousins Jersey Big , and my focus is to come in here and put in a lot of work and prove my worth. ... There were a lot of other great teams that I had offers from, but I think this was the best fit for me."
Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead formally introduced Suh, who agreed to a one-year, $14 million deal to team up with AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald on a potentially ferocious defensive line in Los Angeles.
The 31-year-old Suh said Donald was "definitely a plus" in his decision, since it's almost certain to prevent opponents from constantly double-teaming either star. But Suh was equally excited by the presence of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, whose ability to put talent in positions to succeed has been a major attraction since his arrival last year.
"Being able to be fortunate enough to watch film with the coaches on my visit was important for me," Suh said. "Each place I took a visit to, I (would) watch film and talk to the coaches and see how they see me fitting in."
Suh will be the Rams' nose tackle in their base 3-4 defense Womens Le'Veon Bell Jersey , and he sounded excited about trying a new primary position. Phillips will move around Suh, Donald and Michael Brockers to create trouble for offensive lines, and Suh was attracted to the challenge of forming new skills in his ninth NFL season.
"Over the last five years or so, between Miami and Detroit, to get me out of double teams and kind of being in the trash, I've played every single position, every single technique that's really possible," Suh said.
The entire NFL watched last season when McVay and Phillips transformed a team that hadn't had a winning season since 2003 into an 11-5 champion of the NFC West. The Rams' offense went from 32nd to first in the NFL in points Authentic Randall Cobb Jersey , while the defense became exciting and effective despite lacking ideal personnel for some of Phillips' schemes.
The Rams have addressed those personnel issues aggressively with the additions of Suh and elite cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. While Suh's contract is a financial splash, McVay and Snead felt the expense was worth it for a player of Suh's extraordinary ability.
The Rams released cornerback Kayvon Webster to make room for Suh's contract under the salary cap. Although Los Angeles is interested in re-signing Webster, who started 11 games last season, he might not be ready for the new season after undergoing surgery on his torn Achilles tendon.
Donald still hasn't been given a long-term contract by the Rams, but Suh is eager to begin the process of building teamwork during their offseason workout program. Suh has never reached a Super Bowl, but he joined the Rams knowing they intend to contend immediately.
"They had a very successful year last year in the regular season," Suh said. "And I believe I can be of help to get them over some of the humps."
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