Defensive end Cliff Avril made it known weeks ago that he didn't want to be franchised, citing his desire to have a long-term deal in place rather than another one-year tender. Now that he has been franchised, however, Avril is choosing to look at the positives of this. Here's what he told the Lions' official site today:
"Honestly and truthfully - at the end of the day - I'm very, very fortunate to be franchised by an NFL team," said Avril. "I'm very blessed. That being said, being a business, you always want to do what's best for you and your family.
"Being franchised – I'm blessed and I'm definitely happy about being considered a player to give that tag to. I just hope we can continue to negotiate and try to get something done."
Although he will still technically be able to negotiate with other teams starting on March 13, Avril mentioned that he is "ecstatic to be back" with the Lions because he sees the potential that they have. He thinks the foundation has been laid to build this team into a future Super Bowl champion, and Avril sounds very happy to be coming back to Detroit.
Avril did also reiterate his desire for a long-term deal. The Lions' desire is to sign Avril to a long-term deal, so hopefully the two sides can continue negotiating and get something done this offseason.