DE Avril might hold out if given franchise tag

Posted Feb. 19, 2012 @ 1:36 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Lions DE Cliff Avril told the Detroit Free Press on Saturday that holding out is one of the options he might pursue if he is given the team's franchise tag.

Franchise tags will be able to be applied to players beginning Monday until the league deadline of March 5. The tag for defensive ends is expected to be $10.6 million. Avril, who led the team in sacks last season with 11 and doesn't turn 26 years old until April, has said he wants a long-term deal that would pay him around $12 million per season.

Avril also said that while he would prefer to stay in Detroit, he's not interested in giving the Lions a "hometown discount."

"I don't want to be franchised," Avril told the paper. "That's basically what I got last year. The tender was basically the same thing. I just want security and longevity."

Avril asked the team for a long-term deal last offseason. However, the Lions decided to give him a one-year, $2.61 million restricted free-agent tender in August with the understanding that if Avril worked hard and proved himself, he would get the deal he desires.

In 2011, he not only registered double-digit sacks for the first time in his four-year career, he also led all NFL defensive linemen with six forced fumbles.

"I know it's the NFL," Avril said. "People make promises. It's a business. People tell you one thing one year and it might not be the same thing next year.

"It's expected. But the whole thing last year is I wanted a deal. They basically told me you need to do this, that and third or whatever as far as playing and being productive. I feel like I did that. Obviously it doesn't stop right here, but I do want to be compensated for the work that I'm putting in. That's all."