The deadline to sign players with franchise tags to long-term contracts is creeping ever closer and it looks like we can stop holding our breath from news out of Detroit.
Albert Breer of NFL.com reports that the Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril have broken off negotiations on a new contract. Barring a really last-minute change of heart on either side, that means Avril will be set to make $10.6 million this season. Avril hasn’t signed his tender, but it seems unlikely that he would hold out into the regular season and risk missing out on that money.
Holding out wouldn’t help Avril get a contract. Avril and any other tagged player who doesn’t reach agreement on a contract before 4 p.m. ET are not permitted to sign a long-term deal with their teams until after the end of the 2012 season.
Avril could be franchised again next year at a cost north of $12 million, something that would come into play if he matches or exceeds last year’s production. Avril had 11 sacks, an interception and six forced fumbles for the Lions in 2011.