The good news is that there are indeed members of the Detroit Lions defensive line who haven’t gotten in trouble over the past year. The bad news is that one of them remains not under contract.
Defensive end Cliff Avril, an unrestricted free agent whose movement is limited by the franchise tag, has yet to accept his one-year franchise tender. He wants a long-term deal, and the Lions apparently aren’t inclined to give in to his demands.
“Obviously, we have the tender on Cliff, and he’s welcome to sign that anytime he wants,” Lions president Tom Lewand said Wednesday, via Anwar Richardson of MLive.com. “We’ll continue discussion on whether we can convert that into something on a long-term basis, but really in many ways of the tender, the ball is in his court.”
The two sides have a deadline of July 16 for negotiating a long-term deal. Thereafter, Avril may sign a one-year contract only.
He will receive the full amount of the $10.6 million franchise tender as long as he shows up and signs the contract in the days preceding Week One of the regular season. Unless, of course, the Lions rescind the tender.
In that regard, the ball remain in the Lions’ court. And they continue to have the right to take their ball and go home, putting Avril on the open market weeks after the big money has finished flowing.