Fans hoping the Detroit Lions and Cliff Avril can come to a long-term agreement can’t feel confident that it will happen given the updates coming form each camp. Here is a quick recap:
Tom Lewand says the ball is in Cliff Avril‘s court.
Cliff Avril says the ball is in Tom Lewand’s court.
Are we sure they’re playing the same game?
It’s a situation that doesn’t appear to have a resolution coming prior to the July 16 deadline to negotiate with players that received the franchise tag. However, Avril doesn’t appear upset over the way the it is playing out:
“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.”
I suppose that is to be expected when the worst case scenario involves a one-year deal at $10.6 million.
The Lions no longer face the dire salary cap situation that they were under leading up to the deadline for applying the franchise tag. A long-term deal with Avril before needing to use the franchise tag could have been a strategy for dealing with the cap constraints but a deal was not to be had and the team was forced to use the tag to ensure Avril’s return in 2012. With creating cap room no longer a motivating factor, the Lions have reason to stand their ground although there isn’t much of a reason for Avril to back down either.
Don’t be surprised if Cliff Avril plays the season under the deal coming to him through the franchise tag and the negotiating process plays out again next offseason.