It doesn't sound like things have progressed too much just yet, but the Detroit Lions are in the "beginning stages" of negotiations with the agent of defensive end Cliff Avril. Avril, who was in Indianapolis on Wednesday, said that his "hopes are to get something done with the Lions" in the "next couple weeks." While it remains to be seen if that will happen, Avril did say that there weren't many talks before the end of the season, so there wasn't much of a chance for progress to be made.
If the Lions and Avril can't agree on a long-term deal, the idea of them applying the franchise tag to him has been suggested by fans. Martin Mayhew has previously said he doesn't have plans to use it, and Avril has no interest in being on the receiving end of the franchise tag.
"I definitely don’t want to be franchised," Avril said today, during a visit to the Super Bowl. "I mean, I’ve been in Detroit for four years, and I wouldn’t mind being there for another couple more years or whatnot. The franchise tag kind of makes it a yearly thing, and you want security. You want to know you’re going to be there for a couple years so your family can get comfortable."
Avril wants a long-term deal with the Lions, and I think the Lions have made it clear they want a long-term deal with Avril. The money issue will have to be worked out, but it does sound like both sides want to make a deal happen.