With Cliff Avril not getting a long-term deal from the Detroit Lions, the big question now revolves around when he will sign his franchise tender. He had previously put off signing the tender in hopes that he would end up with a contract that goes beyond the 2012 season. Since that isn't going to happen, he is now in the process of figuring out when exactly he should sign his tender.
We know two things right now about Avril and his franchise tender. For starters, it's unlikely that Avril will sign his tender in time for the start of training camp. In all likelihood, camp will be underway when he signs and reports. Secondly, he is not going to put this off long enough that it would affect his status for regular season games.
To be clear, Avril doesn't plan to let this linger into the season. When asked directly if he's planning to play all 16 games, he said, "Yeah, definitely." And, he added, "If we get 19 games, even better," referencing the number of games thewould have to play to reach Super Bowl XLVII.
Avril has handled this situation about as well as a player can, and I don't think he will make the mistake of remaining unsigned too far into camp. He just wants to lessen the risk of suffering an injury, so he is likely going to take another couple weeks before actually signing.