We are now less than a week away from the deadline for players who received the franchise tag to agree to a long-term deal with their respective teams. This means that the clock is ticking on the negotiations between Cliff Avril and the Detroit Lions. They have until next Monday to figure something out. If they can't, Avril will have to play on his one-year franchise tender and there's a very good chance this whole franchise tag issue could happen again next year.
The good news is that the two sides are negotiating, and Avril said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio today that progress is being made between the two sides.
Avril: "I think we are moving closer. We are progressing. But there are still things that need to be ironed out, like the numbers."— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) July 10, 2012
The two sides very well may be inching closer to a deal, but the fact that they still can't get the numbers "ironed out" suggests that there is still a big gap between Avril and the Lions. The whole reason there hasn't been a long-term deal in the last year is because they can't agree on the numbers. Avril may be optimistic about something getting done, but until they bridge the numbers gap I have a tough time believing the two sides are really moving closer.