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Cliff Avril intends to play football again despite injury

Cliff Avril will not go gently into that good night.

The Seahawks defensive end intends to play in 2018, despite missing most of the 2017 season with a career-threatening neck injury.

Contributing to Avril’s potential decision to walk away is the expected turmoil and turnover in Seattle this offseason. Kam Chancellor (who also suffered a career-threatening neck injury), Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and others are rumored to be on their way out, thanks to expiring contracts and a need to shake things up in Seattle. The Seahawks also are expected to move on from Kris Richard at defensive coordinator.

Would Avril want to return to a Legion of Boom without the recognizable boom?

I think we’re still close enough, Avril insisted. I for sure think they’ll keep the core group of guys around. I think they’ll keep the guys who are great leaders around to bring the young players along. So I don’t think they’ll take too much of step back if they do decide to rebuild.

I have made the decision to not renew the contract for offensive coordinator Todd Haley. I would like to thank Todd for his contributions to our offense the past six years, and we wish him the best in his coaching future.

So what’s next for the Steelers? The Steelers named coach Randy Fichtner offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Thursday. Fichtner is close with both Roethlisberger and offensive line coach Mike Munchak, who declined a second interview for the head-coaching vacancy in Arizona.

The move comes as no great surprise, with whispers surrounding Haley’s fate for weeks. The play-caller helped author some of the finest work yet from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but the duo struggled to get along.

The relationship has been strained so much, Rapoport noted Wednesday on NFL Network, that the Steelers were forced to bring Fichtner down to the sideline to serve as a conduit between Big Ben and Haley. Their union stood in sharp contrast to the one Roethlisberger shared with close friend and former coordinator Bruce Arians.

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