• Lions' GM Dismayed by Best's Absence, Respects Avril's Position



    Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is getting used to two things as training camp progresses: no Jahvid Best and no Cliff Avril. Best is currently on the team's PUP list, still suffering the after effects of a two-concussion campaign in 2011. Avril, the teams franchise tagged player, has still not reported for camp in a move he hopes will safeguard his long-term health. Avril hopes to have a big 2012 season leading into 2013 when he will be an unrestricted free agent.

    Speaking with reporters today, Lions boss discussed the situations of these two players with his typical candor.

    On Jahvid Best - From Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: “Everything was trending toward [Best] being ready to go the first day of training camp,” Mayhew said before practice today. “It didn’t happen that way, so you have to kind of adjust. We have adjusted our expectation on that.”

    “I guess there is that point,” Mayhew said. “I think right now it’s very early in the game to start making that kind of call. It’s up to the medical professionals to decide when he’s going to be available. Eventually he will get cleared. I’m very positive. I feel very comfortable saying that. It’s just a question of the timing of it is up to those guys.”

    "This is a unique medical situation that’s different for every individual and it’s totally out of our control. It’s totally up to the best experts around the country. He’s got a battery of doctors; you get on a conference call and there’s 20 guys on the call. So he’s got the experts and those guys will make a determination when he’s ready to play."
    On Avril - From Anwar Richardson of MLive.com: "[Cliff] has his reasons for not being here, but what I'm saying is we made a very solid offer to him that we felt was a very good offer," Mayhew said before practice. "He was willing to bet on himself, and bet he was going to outperform what was on the table, and I like that."

    "One of the things about Cliff's situation is - if there is anything positive that was encouraging for me is - he's very optimistic about how he's going to perform this season," Mayhew said. "He's willing to bet on himself, and I respect that about him."
    There have been unsubstantiated rumblings on Twitter that Avril will report to camp next week. Best's situation, as previously noted, is entirely up in the air.

    Martin Mayhew has done a remarkable job bringing back the franchise from an 0-16 season in 2008 and fielding a 10-6 squad that made its first playoff appearance of the millenium in 2011. But the Lions need their full arsenal to compete with the Packers and Bears in a loaded NFC North. Just a little extra turmoil for a team that has already had a very rocky offseason.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Ya Know; I was thinking today that maybe the absences and arrests are the most that we'll see out of any Madden Cover Curse since Big Play CJ is on the cover this year. These events can only help the Lions with motivation and banding together. The Packers & Giants excelled when they had players out of the line-up. We'll see how they respond but they sure seem to have a lot of distractions; this is where they truly show who they are.

      Remember how we saw the Niners and Lions go out and have a win streak at the same time? Now it seems both teams have more pressure on themselves to ensure they pick up where they left off despite offseason jalopolies!