Cliff Avril Hit With Franchise Tag; Lions Want Long-Term Deal

From the no-brainer department, the Detroit Lions used the franchise tag on Cliff Avril, which was expected. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the news, and Avril will now be paid $10.6 million on a one-year contract for the 2012 season.

The two sides continue to negotiate on a long-term deal to keep Avril from going anywhere. They have until July 15 to come up with a deal or else Avril has to play the year on the franchise tender. Avril previously indicated he wouldn't be giving the Lions a hometown discount, so it will likely be expensive to keep him for an extended time.

Avril has shined on a defensive line full of stars. He was originally a third-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft and comes off his best year as a pro with 11 sacks. The Lions defensive line is scary, and keeping Avril should continue that. He's only 25 years old, so he could be just getting started.

For more on the Lions offseason, head over to the SB Nation blog Pride Of Detroit or visit SB Nation Detroit.

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