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Cliff Avril Likely To Be Given Franchise Tag If Necessary, According To Report

The Detroit Lions recently learned that there wouldn't be any kind of hometown discount when it comes to re-signing defensive end Cliff Avril (and that there are teams kind-of/sort-of looking into acquiring Avril in free agency), but they are definitely working on inking him to a new deal, regardless. According to the Washington Post, Avril's agent, Brian Mackler, says that talks are moving "very slowly" with the Lions.

At least they're talking at all, and not fighting over said hometown discount. Also of note from the piece is the fact that Avril doesn't want the franchise tag used on him. He wants to stay in Detroit and sign a long term contract, but it has to be at the right price. The key is both of those - the security of the multiple years and the money. Unfortunately for Avril, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Lions are willing to use the tag if it comes down to it.

While two people familiar with the negotiations stopped short of saying Avril definitely will be tagged, both said that's the likely outcome if the two sides don't agree on a long-term deal before March 5, the deadline for applying the tag.

Monday marks the first day the team can designate their franchise player. It seemed likely that the Lions would franchise Avril if they couldn't sign him to a long term deal even before this report. If the Lions did franchise him, he'd be due something along the lines of $10.6 million next season, the average of the top-five salaries at the defensive end position.

For more on the Detroit Lions, check out Pride of Detroit. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.