The 4 p.m. deadline has passed for franchise players to agree to long-term deals. The Detroit Lions were unable to agree to terms with defensive end Cliff Avril, meaning it's now official that there won't be a long-term deal between the two sides this year.
In the wake of this news, Lions president Tom Lewand released a statement. Via Tim Twentyman:
"After extensive discussions with Cliff and his representative, we were unable to reach an agreement on a new contract by today’s 4 p.m. deadline. While we are disappointed that we could not execute a long-term deal, we do look forward to having Cliff with us this season under the terms of the franchise tag."
Avril will now essentially be forced to play the 2012 season on his franchise tag. He will make $10.6 million, and next offseason he will once again be set to become a free agent. The Lions will then have to once again try and sign him to a long-term deal. If they can't, then he will hit the open market unless they franchise him again, which would up his salary to around $12.72 million for 2013.