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Cliff Avril talks Michael Bennett trade, future with Seahawks

Mar 7, 2018, 2:48 PM | Updated: 2:56 pm
Cliff Avril...
Seahawks' veteran DE Cliff Avril saw his 2017 season end in Week 4. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks’ roster moves aren’t just surprising fans – defensive end Cliff Avril said he didn’t think the Seahawks’ changes were going to be this dramatic, either.

“It’s interesting,” Avril told Andrew Siciliano and Mike Silver during an interview on NFL Network Wednesday afternoon. Avril spoke with the network shortly after Seattle traded Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett to the Eagles. The team is reportedly considering parting ways with All Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, as well.

Schefter: Seahawks ‘remaking roster’ with big personnel changes

“(There are) lot of moving parts. It’s just interesting that all this would happen all in one day … I didn’t think it was going to be this dramatic. 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 played 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.”

Bennett, Sherman, and Avril were part of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl XLVIII and XLIX rosters, and stars in one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history — a unit that lead the league in scoring for four consecutive seasons.

Asked whether it felt like the Seahawks were “breaking up the band,” Avril said it certainly felt like the team was rebuilding.

“They are. It seems like they’re breaking the band up,” Avril said. “Seems like they’re trying to start over. Seems like they just want to go somewhat in a different direction, I guess.”

And while the moves are unsettling for Seahawks fans, Avril added that it’s rare to keep the same starters together in the NFL for such a long period of time — a point he said he often reminded teammates.

‘Hopefully I can still play’

Avril, 31, suffered a season-ending neck injury in Week 4 of the 2017 season. He has plans to meet with his doctor soon to discuss his future in football, but acknowledged that a difficult decision could be looming.

“It’s still up in the air honestly,” Avril said. “Actually, in the next few days I’ll know a little bit more. I’m going to meet with my surgeon here in the next couple days. And once I meet with him we’ll kind of figure things out and see how it plays out. Hopefully the Seahawks still want me and hopefully I can still play, we’ll see.

“I just want to do what’s right for me from the standpoint of ‘(life) after football’ and how that would affect it. If the doctor comes back and says things aren’t healing right, or even if things are healing right (that) one hit could mess you up … 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.”

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