The Detroit Lions have been trying to sign defensive end Cliff Avril to a long-term deal since last summer. The two sides haven't been able to agree on anything, though. This resulted in the Lions placing the franchise tag on Avril this offseason, and since then there hasn't been much news on the Avril front, mainly because working out a new deal dropped on their list of priorities.
With Avril essentially locked in for at least another year in Detroit, the Lions don't view him as a guy on the franchise tag. Rather, they are looking at him as a player with one year left on his contract, which is why their focus has been on getting some other guys re-signed in the last few weeks.
"We've been very aggressive in trying to get it done," Lewand said. "We've had a lot of discussions with his agent (Brian Mackler) and they've been very committed. But it is what it is now. We had other priorities (signing middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch) but we will continue to pay mind to getting him extended, just like we will with a number of other guys who are playing on the final year of their contracts."
The deadline for Avril to sign a long-term deal with the Lions is July 15. After that, he will be locked into signing the one-year franchise tender if he wants to play in the NFL next season.