Cliff Avril, Lions Will 'Leave Dialogue Open'

The Detroit Lions placed their franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril, and now are attempting to sign him to a long-term contract before the July deadline, which forces Avril to play under the one-year tag in 2012. According to reports, the two sides are far apart in contract negotiations but the two sides are keeping dialogue open.

"We've had conversations and we continue to have dialogue," Lions president Tom Lewand told MLive.com. "We'll leave the dialogue open. I talked to (Avril's agent) Brian (Mackler) recently, and we have an ongoing dialogue. We've said all along, we'd like Cliff to be here. We've made some very substantial offers to him. We haven't been able to work a deal out."

Lewand also mentions that the team has other impending free agents to deal with next season and if the team has to allow Avril to play on the one-year deal that will pay him nearly $10 million, they'll be up for negotiating next offseason as well.

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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