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Lions' Defensive End Cliff Avril Still Optimistic, But Cautiously So, About Inking New Deal

Since the Lions' placed the franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril in March, he and his agent, Brian Mackler, have remained optimistic that Avril could work out a long-term deal with the team. As the Monday deadline fast approaches, however, for reaching a multi-year deal, Avril is expressing some doubt that a deal can get done, according to a report in 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."

Avril is one of the remaining "franchise" players in the National Football League who have not yet signed either a one-year tender or agreed to a long-term contract. Avril, a fifth-year player out of Purdue, has said he would play this season for the $10.6 million tender without a new contract, but it is uncertain if that means he would join the Lions for the start of training camp on July 26.

"If we don't get a deal done, I'll fly out to New York (meet with his agent), and figure something out from that point on," Avril said. The contract deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Monday.