Seahawks agree to deal with free-agent DE Avril

RENTON — Making a splashy addition to their offense didn’t keep the Seattle Seahawks from making another big move to address another big need, this one one defense.

Just a day after trading for receiver Percy Harvin, the Seahawks agreeed to terms on a deal with defensive end Cliff Avril, considered the top pass rusher on the free agent market. According to multiple reports, the former Detroit Lion, who turns 27 next month, agreed to a two-year deal worth $15 million.

There was some thought that after adding Harvin and signing him to a long-term deal, Seattle would have to upgrade its pass rush either through the draft or through a less expensive, older veteran option such as John Abraham or Dwight Freeney. Instead, the Seahawks made their second huge move of the week, showing more than ever that they have every intention of contending for a championship this season.

Avril is a 2008 third-round pick out of Purdue who had 29 sacks and nine forced fumbles in the past three seasons for Detroit. The Lions placed the franchise tag on Avril last year when he and the Lions could not agree to a long-term deal.

He will come to Seattle trying to upgrade a pass rush that was one of the few weaknesses on a defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season. Seattle had 36 sacks in 2012, which tied for 18th most in the league, and 19.5 of those came from Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin. Add to that the fact that Clemons is recovering from knee surgery after tearing his ACL during the playoffs, and Seattle desperately needed to bolster its pass rush in the offseason.

“We need another pass rusher, we really do,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said at his year-end press conference in January. “So we just have to keep working at it and try to get it better.”

The Seahawks likely have to prepare as if Clemons won’t be available at the start of the season, in which case Avril, a speed rusher who is somewhat similar to Clemons, could take over the Leo end position. Or if Clemons does make a quick recovery, Seattle will have three speed rushers, a luxury few teams would turn down.

Note

Free agent defensive lineman Jason Jones, who spent last season in Seattle, signed with Detroit Wednesday. Jones, who was used primarily as an interior pass rusher in nickel packages, played 12 games and had three sacks before a knee injury ended his season.

Herald Writer John Boyle: jboyle@heraldnet.com.

More in Sports

Resurgent season for Archbishop Murphy senior running back

After missing most of last season injured, Ray Pimentel returned with a bang and hasn’t let up since.

Pac-12 North title on the line for WSU in Apple Cup

The Cougars need a win over the Huskies in Seattle to advance to the Pac-12 title game.

Hawks will have ‘clarity’ soon on futures of Chancellor, Avril

Signs point to the two injured stars not playing again this season, with beyond that in question, too.

Prep football at a glance: Tumwater vs. Archbishop Murphy

The two traditional powers will match up in a 2A state tournament semifinal game Saturday.

Tumwater football team relies on dominant rushing attack

With the Archbishop Murphy and Tumwater football teams set to meet Saturday… Continue reading

Surging Silvertips skate past Chiefs

Everett solves its power-play struggles and tops Spokane 4-1 for its 5th win in its past 7 contests.

Nowell’s late free throws lift UW over Seattle 89-84

The Huskies have a difficult time putting away the pesky crosstown-rival Redhawks.

Peyton Brown receives a pass during practice at Arlington High in Arlington on November 16, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Basketball is in the blood of this Arlington senior

Eagles leader Peyton Brown has been hanging around the Arlington gym since she was 5.

Jordan ‘grateful’ for opportunity with Seahawks

The DE has come back from failed drug tests, knee surgeries and being out of the NFL for nearly 3 years.

Most Read