With the 2018 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror and rookie minicamp slated to take place over the weekend, Friday the Seattle Seahawks opened the door for an extra youngster to fit on the roster by closing the door on a veteran who had been with the team for the past five seasons.
The Seahawks have released Cliff Avril.
The @Seahawks released/failed physical @cliffavril today. We thank Cliff for being an important piece in bringing a Super Bowl title to Seattle through his leadership and passion for the 12s and the community.https://t.co/ITWDKH0jhc— Seattle Seahawks (@seahawksPR) May 4, 2018
Avril, who signed with Seattle as a free agent in 2013 after spending the first five years of his career with the Detroit Lions, where he experienced the first 0-16 season in NFL history as well as endured playing a season on the franchise tag.
Avril was a huge playmaker for the Seahawks during his tenure with the team, including forcing the bad throw from Peyton Manning that led to the Malcolm Smith pick six to make the game 22-0 before halftime had even arrived in the Seahawks 43-8 romp in Super Bowl XLVIII.
I aggravated a herniated disc in my back celebrating when this happened.— John Gilbert (@SeahawksMachine) May 4, 2018
Sadly, four years later it's a disc injury which is ending Cliff Avril's career. https://t.co/5kpjMoGQlf
However, his career came to a crashing halt, following a neck injury suffered against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2, and which was aggravated by an inadvertent kick to the chin against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 4. Avril had surgery in early November to address the neck injury, but apparently the Seattle front office decided at this time it would be more prudent for the roster spot to go to another player.
Following his release, Avril released a statement on social media thanking the Seahawks fans for their support during his time with the team.
Thank you 12s for making the last 5 years in Seattle so amazing! Your cheers… https://t.co/oOkAxwg1ve— Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) May 4, 2018
Seattle fans will forever be grateful to Cliff, not only for his contributions on the field, but for his professionalism and off field work as well. Best of luck to Mr. Avril in all he does going forward.