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Lions Free Agency 2012: Cliff Avril Likely To Get Franchise Tag

Monday is the first day for NFL teams to lay the "franchise tag" on players, which essentially gives the team a guaranteed one-year contract for any one player that they want. That usually comes in handy for free agency when there is a contract dispute going on, keeping unrestricted free agents away from other teams that might want to snatch them up in free agency.

Cliff Avril's agent has already admitted that talks between him and the Detroit Lions are moving very slowly. After a brilliant year playing end on their powerful defensive line, the Lions will probably need to keep Avril away from the ravenous maw of free agency where there will be plenty of teams very interested in his services. SB Nation believes that Cliff Avril is almost a lock to be the recipient of the Franchise Tag from Detroit.

He won't be happy with the franchise tag but he should be prepared to get it. The Lions can't let him leave and he would break the bank on the open market so franchising him makes the most sense to give both sides enough time to work out a deal.

Avril had a career year in 2011, putting 11 sacks on the board and playing as arguably the most consistent player on one of the best defensive lines in the entire NFL. It's easy to see why the Lions would make getting him back on the team the number one priority; the question will be 'Is the price right for both Detroit and Avril?' He's already stated that he doesn't believe in "hometown discounts," so there's going be a hefty paycheck in Avril's future no matter what.

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