Defensive end Cliff Avril will be in Detroit when his Lions teammates convene for the start of offseason workouts next week, but he won’t be joining them unless a long-term contract is agreed to before April 16th.
Avril told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press that he still has no plans to sign the franchise tender placed on him by the team because he wants a longer commitment. The Lions and Avril have until July 15th to hammer out such a deal or Avril will have to choose between signing the $10.4 million tender and holding out.
“I think we’re going to continue to try and get something done hopefully and we’ll see how it goes,” Avril said.
This round of workouts are voluntary. The Lions have a mandatory minicamp in June, which would mark the next big date in negotiations with Avril.
Per Birkett, there hasn’t been much progress toward a contract. Avril is going to be in Detroit just in case something changes so that he can join the team. He said last year’s experience during the lockout makes him confident that missing team workouts won’t create a problem with his play next season.