Cliff Avril and the Detroit Lions have broken off negotiations less than two hours until Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise tagged players to sign long-term extensions with their respective teams. As a result, the defensive end will likely play the 2012 season for a guaranteed $10.6 million and become an unrestricted free agent once the season ends.
The original report comes from Albert Breer of NFL.com, who was told by a source that the rocky negotiations had finally ended at an impasse. Avril has said that he will play under the franchise tender, but prefers the security of a multi-year deal. He and the organization apparently never saw eye-to-eye, however, and on Saturday Avril admitted that he wasn't getting "a good vibe" that a deal would actually get done.
Avril set career-highs with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles last season. He was reportedly seeking a deal somewhere between Robert Mathis' four-year, $36 million deal and Calais Campbell's five-year, $55 million contracts. With a large contingent of players entering free agency after next season, Detroit was wary of committing too much money to Avril, however.