The official deadline for NFL teams to negotiate with players that received the franchise tag is 4 p.m. but the Detroit Lions and Cliff Avril will not be taking talks down to the wire.
Talks have ended between Lions and Avril, according to NFL Network. Cliff will play under $10.6 million franchise tender this season.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) July 16, 2012
The two sides will not be able to pick up talks on a long term deal until the conclusion of the 2012 season. If a deal is not struck prior to the start of the next free agency period the Lions will be forced to decide between letting Avril test the market of use the franchise tag on him again at a cost of around $12.7 million.
If there is a silver lining to this news is that it gives the Lions more flexibility next offseason when they will have decisions to make on not only Avril but other important defensive players like Louis Delmas, Corey Williams, Lawrence Jackson, Chris Houston, Justin Durant and DeAndre Levy.
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte and Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee reached agreements on long term deals with their respective teams earlier today after being designated as franchise players earlier this offseason.
Tom Lewand released the following statement regarding the situation with Cliff Avril:
After extensive discussions with Cliff and his representative, we were unable to reach an agreement on a new contract by today’s 4 p.m. deadline. While we are disappointed that we could not execute a long-term deal, we do look forward to having Cliff with us this season under the terms of the franchise tag.