Cliff Avril Signs Franchise Tender, Ends Contract Holdout

Cliff Avril ended his contract holdout, signing a one-year franchise tender. He led the Detroit Lions with 11 sacks in 2011.

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Cliff Avril Signs Franchise Tender, Reports To Camp

After sitting out the first eight days of training camp, the Detroit Lions' Cliff Avril has signed a one-year franchise tender and will report to the team Sunday.

Avril's future as a Lion had been in question since last month, when the two sides failed to come to a deal by the July 16 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term extensions. But based on Avril's latest tweet, he appears enthusiastic about re-joining the team.

As a result, Sunday's signing means that Avril gets a one-year deal reportedly worth $10.6 million. If the Lions fail to sign the defensive end to a new deal for the 2013 season, they can franchise him once again to a slightly higher contract, or sever ties and let him test the free-agent market.

A third-round draft selection by the Lions in 2008, Avril led the team last season with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles.

If he improves those numbers, perhaps the Lions will have no choice but to think long term with Avril or watch as another team gives him an offer he can't refuse.

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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Cliff Avril 'Hopeful' But Not Certain Long-Term Deal Is Coming

Cliff Avril's struggle to get a new long-term contract from the Detroit Lions before a Monday deadline continues, and Avril is "hopeful" that a deal is in the works, but far from certain, he told the Detroit Free Press.

"I’m hopeful, but I don’t know," Avril told the Free Press. "I’m not getting a good vibe, let’s put it that way. But I’m hopeful."

The Lions slapped Avril, a defensive end who plays on the same line as consecutive first-round NFL Draft picks Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, with their franchise tag in April, giving them until 4 p.m. Monday to reach a new long-term deal or force Avril to play on a one-year contract worth $10.6 million. Avril has previously said that he will play on that tender without a long-term deal, but he and his agent have stated their preference for a longer commitment.

Avril started all 16 games and had 11 sacks for the Lions in 2011 and has notched 30 sacks in his four NFL seasons.

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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