ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Detroit Lions have tendered defensive end Cliff Avril. The level of his tender is a first- and third-round pick. What exactly does that mean? Allow me to explain.
Avril has been tendered at the highest salary level for a restricted free agent. He is free to negotiate with other teams whenever free agency begins and could sign an offer sheet. If that were to happen, the Lions would have a week to match the offer. If they chose to match it, Avril would be back with the Lions under the terms of that offer sheet. If the Lions decided to let Avril go, they would receive a first- and third-round draft pick as compensation for losing him.
The collective bargaining agreement that is about to expire would give Avril a salary of $3.317 million (non-guaranteed) next season. This number could stay the same under the new CBA (whenever that is agreed to), but there's no guarantee. Whatever the case, Avril will receive the salary equivalent to the highest tender level.
The Lions made it known they wanted Avril back at the end of last season, and this news reaffirms that desire. Avril was great for the Lions during his first three years in Detroit, and based on him getting the highest tender there is, they have high hopes for him going forward.
UPDATE: Avril said this on Twitter about the news: "Looks like I'll be in the D one more year atlease.... Yall kno I love the D..."