After joining Pete Carroll’s squad for the most successful five-year run in franchise history, defensive end Cliff Avril‘s Seattle career is over.
The Seahawks waived Avril with a failed physical designation, the team announced Friday.
Four games into his 10th NFL season, Avril suffered a career-threatening neck injury last October. The severity of the injury led Carroll to concede that the veteran pass rusher will have a “hard time playing football again.”
That said, Avril has told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche that he intends to play in 2018. Last we heard from the 32-year-old in March, he acknowledged that his career remains “up in the air.”
“I just want to do what’s right for me from the standpoint of after football and how that would affect it,” Avril said on NFL Network’s Up to the Minute Live. “If the doctor comes back and says ‘things aren’t healing right,’ or even if things are healing right, ‘one hit could mess you up’ or whatever, then that’s an easy decision. But right now, in my head, I definitely want to start training and doing things like I am going to play.”
One of the easily overlooked ingredients to Seattle’s celebrated Legion of Boom defense, Avril joined fellow defensive end Michael Bennett in signing bargain free-agent contracts at the advent of the team’s NFC West hegemony in 2013. Within a calendar year, the two veterans were Super Bowl champions.
After entering the league with Detroit’s record-setting 0-16 outfit in 2008, Avril was thrilled to spend the prime years of his career with a perennial contender and a class organization.
“Everybody wants to be in Seattle. Nobody wants to leave Seattle,” Avril raved in 2015. “Everybody wants to be there because we have something good going.”
Avril will finish his Seahawks career with 41 sacks in 64 games, including the postseason. He’ll be fondly remembered in the Emerald City not just as a disruptive defense force, but also as a humanitarian who pledged to build a new house in Haiti for each sack he amassed in a career-best 2016 season.