Report: Lions Likely Will Use Franchise Tag On Cliff Avril If No Deal Is Reached

Cliff Avril day here on Pride of Detroit continues ...

Today has been a busy day of news relating to defensive end Cliff Avril. We have had talk about teams potentially tampering with him, if he would accept a hometown discount or not and where the negotiations stand between him and the Detroit Lions. Now we have more news, this time coming from the other side of the negotiating table.

Dave Birkett is reporting that the Lions will likely franchise Avril if a long-term deal isn't reached with him. Although Martin Mayhew has said before that he didn't plan on using the franchise tag, he also said "you never know what might happen." He left the door open for Avril to be franchised, and it looks like a more and more likely option based on the fact that negotiations are moving slowly.

While two people familiar with the negotiations stopped short of saying Avril definitely will be tagged, both said that’s the likely outcome if the two sides don’t agree on a long-term deal before March 5, the deadline for applying the tag.

Just because Avril receives the franchise tag doesn't mean he will end up on a one-year deal for 2012. As Avril himself said later in the article, this would give the Lions more time to negotiate and keep him off the open market. While other teams could still negotiate with Avril if he is given the non-exclusive franchise tag, the Lions would have the ability to match any offer or receive two first-round picks if the offer was not matched.

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