Now that he didn’t get the long-term contract he was seeking, Lions defensive end Cliff Avril doesn’t know what comes next.
As in, he doesn’t know when he’s reporting to the Lions, or signing his one-year, $10.6 million tender.
Avril told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press he “probably won’t be there” when Lions veterans report to training camp July 26.
“I’m kind of disappointed that it didn’t happen, yeah,” Avril said. “But obviously I’m not one of their top guys right now as far as for getting a deal done. It’s all good. I understand. I just got to keep proving myself. That’s what I’ve been doing, and I’ll continue to do it.”
Avril said he’d meet with his agent this weekend to decide his next step, but didn’t sound like a man in a hurry to get there. He referred to going to his son’s birthday party on Aug. 3, a week after the Lions report.
“I don’t know when I’m going to go back, honestly,” Avril said. “Me and my agent have to sit down, talk about it this weekend and go from there. At least I’ll get to see my son’s first birthday.”
Without signing, he can stay away without penalty until just before the start of the regular season and still get the full amount of the tender. The only risk would be if the Lions rescind the tender offer. To tag him again next year would cost the Lions a 20 percent bump, or $12.72 million.
That seems unlikely, with all the other business the Lions have pending.
With starters including Louis Delmas, Corey Williams, Chris Houston, DeAndre Levy and Justin Durant coming up for new deals soon, coupled with the deal they just gave Calvin Johnson and the one they’ll have to give Matt Stafford, choices are going to have to be made.