Defensive end Cliff Avril is currently a restricted free agent. The Detroit Lions tendered him at a first-round level way back in March before the NFL lockout. The qualifying offer is for one year and ensures the Lions could match any offer he receives from another team and get compensation in the form of a first-round pick if they didn't match an offer sheet he signed.
Avril and the Lions want to work out a long-term deal at some point, but it's unclear just how long it will take to get something done. If the talks don't heat up until a later date, Avril could simply sign his one-year tender and restructure his deal when he signs an extension. Right now, though, Avril isn't even sure if he will sign his tendered offer.
"What's the difference? I can't practice until Aug. 4th anyway,'' Avril said.
If Avril decides not to sign his tender, he will not be able to practice until a new deal is worked out. The best-case scenario would be to get something of the long-term variety negotiated so the Lions and Avril don't have to worry about it going forward, but at the very least I'm hoping Avril signs his tender so he can practice once free agents are allowed to. Having him miss a good portion of camp because he doesn't have a deal would not be good.