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Lions Haven't Started Contract Negotiations With Cliff Avril

Cliff Avril is in the middle of a breakout season, but the Detroit Lions have not yet begun contract negotiations with the former Purdue star. Avril recently won the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week Award for his sack-strip-fumble-TD combination against Denver's Tim Tebow on Sunday. Avril already has five sacks and three forced fumbles, but he has no definite contract for after the season:

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Avril is already putting up big numbers this season and will be one of the most coveted defensive ends in the NFL if he makes it to free agency.

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According to Avril's agent, contract negotiations have not even started yet:

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"I spoke to (team president) Tom Lewand before the season, made it clear to him that Cliff's desire -- he loves being in Detroit, wants to stay in Detroit and obviously when they're ready to start talking about contract negotiations I'm here," Mackler said. "I've known Tom for 20 years. We've done a lot of deals, and when they're ready to do something with Cliff, we're willing to listen."

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Avril made a name for himself at Purdue after moving from linebacker to defensive end. He had a rather lackluster career at linebacker for the Boilermakers, but a big senior season in 2007 led to him being drafted by the Lions.