Cliff Avril surprised by ‘dramatic’ changes Seahawks are making
It was not long ago that the Seattle Seahawks had the most feared defense in the NFL, but it appears several members of the original “Legion of Boom” will not be back with the team in 2018. While there has been talk of a rebuild for a while, Cliff Avril is still surprised at how quickly it’s happening.
On Wednesday, the Seahawks traded defensive end Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles. A report later in the day indicated Richard Sherman is likely to be released in the near future, and Avril spoke about the changes in an appearance on NFL Network.
“I didn’t think it was going to be this dramatic,” he said, as transcribed by Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “You’ve seen it with the coaching staff a little bit. But I didn’t expect this many guys to even be considered to be leaving. Some of these guys have been playing at a high level for a long time. And to kind of see this playing out the way it’s playing out right now is, again, interesting. We’ll see how it plays out, though.”
Avril is on the wrong side of 30 himself, though his salary cap hit of $7.6 million for next season is reasonable. Still, he’s another player who could be on his way out if the Seahawks decide to blow up their entire defense.
The Sherman move is in many ways the least surprising, as there was talk last year that Seattle was looking to trade him. There was also a report indicating he was not getting along with his teammates and coaches.
The Seahawks prioritized signing all of their key defensive players to big contracts years ago so they could keep the unit together, so this was bound to happen eventually. Avril and others knew that.