Renton, Wash. — The Seahawks are continuing efforts to keep core players from reaching free agency, signing defensive end Cliff Avril to a four-year extension on Friday worth up to $28.5 million.
Avril's deal comes a day after the Seahawks signed linebacker K.J. Wright to a four-year extension worth $27 million. Avril, a former Lion, and Wright were two of Seattle's priorities as the Seahawks tried to keep the pair from becoming free agents after the season. NFL.com first reported the extension.
"Cliff has been instrumental in what we've been building on the defensive side of the ball and we are excited that he'll be with us for another four years," Seattle general manager John Schneider said in a statement. "He has been relentless in his approach to the game and his passion for winning is contagious."
Avril is in his second year with Seattle after signing a two-year deal before the 2013 season. Avril has started all 14 games and has 4<AF>1/2<XA> sacks this season. He had eight sacks last year playing in more of a rotation on Seattle's defensive line.
While his sack numbers are down this season, Avril's success in pressuring the quarterback has increased. He's already exceeded last year's total in quarterback hits.
The Seahawks have now locked up several of their core players for the future. Strong safety Kam Chancellor was first before the start of the 2013 season. All-Pros Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin, were all extended following Seattle's title last season. Michael Bennett also chose to stay with Seattle, signing a three-year deal last offseason.
Wisconsin officials have accused Browns lineman Joe Thomas of committing nearly a dozen environmental violations on his hunting land west of Madison.
The state Department of Natural Resources sent the former Wisconsin standout and seven-time Pro Bowler a letter Wednesday accusing him of 11 violations. They range from building bridges and dams and enlarging a pond without permits to tearing down a barn without notice of intent and discharging manure into a wetland.
DNR officials want to meet with Thomas on Jan. 6 — after the regular season ends.
... Washington wide receiver Santana Moss has been fined $22,050 by the NFL for language deemed "abusive and insulting" directed at game officials.
Moss was ejected from the Redskins' 24-13 loss to the Giants last Sunday when he stormed after officials after Washington lost a touchdown on the final play of the first half on a video review.
Cleveland linebacker Barkevious Mingo was fined $16,537 for hitting Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton in the head and neck area last Sunday.
Tennessee defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and Jets right guard Willie Colon were each docked $8,268 for their roles in a brief brawl.
All signs point to DeMarco Murray playing for Dallas against Indianapolis despite a broken left hand. Murray was listed as questionable but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his radio show that the team "should be able to count on" him playing.
... The Bills have activated running back C.J. Spiller from injured reserve.
... Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr will have minor surgery on his knee and won't play again this season.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.