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.