Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril has been absent from the team's offseason workouts and OTAs. This is because he hasn't signed his franchise tender yet. He is in hopes of agreeing to a long-term deal with the Lions, but it doesn't appear that the two sides are near one. As a result, Avril is not under contract and has decided to work out on his own with a personal trainer this offseason.
Although some may perceive Avril's absence as a sign that he isn't committed to the Lions, team president Tom Lewand doesn't see things that way.
"Some guys have signed the tender and chosen to come in and practice without an extension, the Wes Welker example," Lewand said. "Some haven't. I don't question Cliff's commitment, his work ethic, anything. He's made a choice to work out on his own. These are obviously voluntary sessions. We can only talk about the guys who are here."
Lewand commented on the talks with Avril and indicated that there is an "ongoing dialogue." In other words, the two sides are still talking, but it doesn't sound like there has been much progress in those talks.