Earlier this week, Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand said that as far as the contract situation goes with Cliff Avril, "the ball's in his court." With negotiations on a long-term deal not producing anything that the two sides have both agreed to, Lewand was basically saying that what happens next is up to Avril. From the Lions' perspective, Avril can either agree to their most recent long-term offer or sign his franchise tender.
On Saturday, Avril was asked about what Lewand said. His response? "It's up to Tom." Avril clarified that he isn't putting the ball back in Lewand's court because they're "not passing back and forth," but he still seems set on getting a better long-term offer from the Lions. Regardless, he's confident that it'll all work out in the end.
"Things will work themselves out," Avril said. "I don't stress out about it. It's a business and you can't get mad about it. So we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, I'm there for the start of (training) camp."
If July 16 comes and goes and there's still no long-term deal, Avril will either have to sign his franchise tender or sit out the season. Although he is making it sound like he might not sign his franchise tender in time for training camp, it wouldn't make sense for him to leave $10.6 million on the table over a contract dispute, so the chances of that happening are slim to none.