The Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril haven’t seen eye to eye on much this offseason, right down to whether or not there’s any difficulty involved in the negotiations for a new contract.
There’s a July 16th deadline to get a deal done between team and player before Avril will have no choice other than playing under the franchise tag in 2012. He’s made it clear that he has no desire to do that, but General Manager Martin Mayhew said last week that the negotiations on a new multi-year deal for Avril are complicated and complex. Avril disagreed with that notion during an interview on the NFL Network.
“It can’t be any more complicated than the next,” said Avril. “I take it with a grain of salt, in a sense. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. It’s nothing to stress out about, I know I’m not stressed out over it. I don’t know what makes it more complicated though.”
The answer to Avril’s wondering is the fact that this deal is really only complicated on one side. Mayhew didn’t say what makes it more complicated, although it stands to reason that a team trying to manage an entire salary cap has more considerations than an individual player looking to sign a contract for himself. The gap between his asking price and the Lions’ preferred number is also believed to be fairly large, which definitely complicates matters all the more in Detroit.
Avril said that he didn’t know whether he would report to training camp with the team if he doesn’t have a new deal, but that’s making things needlessly complex. Avril gains nothing by holding out and he’ll still be making $10.6 million for the year, which isn’t really anything to turn up your nose about even if it means a possible repeat of the dance this time next year.