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NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

With the NFL entering the last week of the regular season, it was another relatively quiet week for transactions. One re-signing is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Seattle Seahawks re-sign DE Cliff Avril

Just one day after re-signing outside linebacker K.J. Wright to a long-term contract extension, the Seahawks locked up another key defensive player.

Avril’s deal is very similar to Wright’s. Avril receives $28.5 million over four years, which is $1.5 million more than Wright received over the same time frame. Avril also receives $6 million in guaranteed money and a signing bonus of $4.5 million. The average of $7.125 million per season makes him tied for the 14th highest paid defensive end in the NFL. Coincidentally, he is tied with teammate Michael Bennett.

This season, the 28-year old Avril has 21 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble for Seattle. If these sack numbers don’t change in the last week of the season, it would be a career low for him. (His previous low is 5, which came as a rookie.)

Cliff Avril

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Despite these lackluster sack numbers, he is still having a successful season. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has him graded as the 13th best 4-3 defensive end and his pass rushing grade is the seventh best. Both of these numbers would be the third best of his seven year career. In addition, he has 41 quarterback hurries this year, which is the fourth best and he has the sixth best pass rushing productivity for 4-3 defensive ends. Sacks are the most overrated statistic in the league. Avril may not have many this season, but he is still an impactful pass rusher.

Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the third round of the 2008 season, he spent five seasons there, recording 39.5 sacks and 16 forced fumbles.

A free agent before the 2013 season, he found a depressed market and only received a two-year contract worth $13 million. Seattle received a steal with this signing and Avril quickly showed this.

With the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, he recorded eight sacks in the regular season and added another 1.5 in the postseason. In the Super Bowl, he recorded a safety on the first play of the game by tackling running back Knowshon Moreno in the end zone after a fumbled snap. Avril was constantly in the Denver backfield, recording three quarterback hits and six hurries. He didn’t take down Peyton Manning, but he made his life very tough.

This was a smart move by the Seahawks to re-sign Avril. He was set to become a free agent at the end of the season and it is obvious his skills are being maximized in the Seattle defense. He is able to focus on just rushing the passer, which is what he excels at. He doesn’t have to worry about stopping the run.

The terms of the deal are good for both sides. Seattle keeps an impactful pass rusher without giving him top-10 money and Avril finally gets the long-term contract he has wanted for years. Both sides win here.

With Avril’s contract extension out of the way, Seattle can now focus on signing quarterback Russell Wilson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner to their long-term contracts, once they are eligible at the end of the season.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign DB Sean Baker.
The Atlanta Falcons sign RB Jerome Smith.
The Atlanta Falcons waive LB James Anderson.
The Baltimore Ravens sign DE Steve Means.
The Buffalo Bills release WR Mike Williams from injured reserve.
The Chicago Bears sign DE Austen Lane.
The Cleveland Browns sign LB Scott Solomon.
The Cleveland Browns sign QB Tyler Thigpen.
The Cleveland Browns waive FB Ray Agnew.
The Cleveland Browns sign LS Charley Hughlett.
The Miami Dolphins sign WR Matt Hazel.
The Miami Dolphins waive LB Jake Knott.
The Miami Dolphins sign C Sam Brenner.
The Miami Dolphins sign DT Deandre Coleman.
The Minnesota Vikings waive RB Ben Tate.
The Minnesota Vikings sign RB Henry Josey.
The San Francisco 49ers sign DT Mike Purcell.
The San Francisco 49ers sign LB Chase Thomas.
The San Diego Chargers sign OL Kenny Wiggins.
The Seattle Seahawks cut WR RaShaun Allen.
The Seattle Seahawks sign TE Keavon Milton.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign CB C.J. Wilson.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign WR Louis Murphy to a three-year contract extension.
The Washington Redskins sign LB Steve Beauharnais.
The Washington Redskins sign OL Rishaw Johnson.

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