Clifford Samuel Avril (born April 8, 1986) is an American footballdefensive end for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). Cliff Avril was born to Haitian parents and is a Christian. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida and attended Clay High School in Green Cove Springs. He was Second-team All-State selection as a defensive end his senior season, after recording 80 tackles, including 11-for-losses, nine sacks and four pass breakups.
Avril then attended Purdue University where he started 12 games at strong-side linebacker and 23 at left defensive end. After converting to defensive end in his final two seasons at Purdue, he recorded 30 of his 35.5 tackles-for-losses and 12.5 of his 13 sacks from the left end position.
In 2004 he appeared in all 12 games, including four starts made 36 tackles (23 solo, 13 assists), including 3.0 for loss and 0.5 sacks, with one pass breakup and one forced fumble. In 2005 he appeared in 10 games, including four starts and had 33 tackles (21 solo, 12 assists), including 2.5 for loss. In 2006 he started all 14 games, the first four at linebacker and last 10 at defensive end and recorded 84 tackles (51 solo, 33 assists) 15.0 tackles-for-loss, six sacks and six pass breakups, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Avril was drafted in the third round (92nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He signed a three-year, $1.634 million contract. In 2008 he recorded 23 tackles and five sacks. He was named to the Sporting News All-Rookie team. 2009 saw even better tackle statistics for Avril. He recorded 18 more tackles in 2009 than he did his rookie year in 2008. But his pass rushing ability was not much better than his rookie year as he recorded just a half sack more(5.5)in 2009. In 2010 Avril posted the best stats of his career with 33 tackles and 8.5 sacks. Not to be outdone by this, Avril played in all 16 games for the first time in 2011. He had 36 tackles, and a team-high 11 sacks. Avril had more forced fumbles than any other defensive end with 6. He also had 3 fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown) to go along with an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Many sportswriters felt that he was worthy of the Pro Bowl, but Jared Allen, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Jason Babin were selected instead to the NFC roster.
On March 5, 2012, the Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Avril, keeping him in Detroit for the 2012 season. On August 5, Avril signed his tender, which was worth $10.6 million. Prior to the franchise tag, Avril rejected a 3-year, $30 million contract offered by the Lions.
On March 13, 2013, Avril signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks. In the 2013 season, he has been credited for his contribution to the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII win. He set a Super Bowl record by scoring only twelve seconds into the game with a safety stemming from a botched opening snap by the Broncos, and he later forced an interception that led to a touchdown. Following the Seahawks' victory, Avril became the first player in NFL history to win a Super Bowl after having been on a zero-win team.