The Monday deadline for teams to sign franchised players to long-term deals has passed, meaning several players are forced to play the 2012 season under the one-year franchise tender.
Lions DE Cliff Avril, 49ers S Dashon Goldson and Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe have yet to sign their respective franchise tenders, which makes them candidates to skip some of training camp until they sign the one-year agreement.
"I wanted to get something done. I want to be with the Lions, I want to be in Detroit, but we’ll be back at the same situation next year, unfortunately,” Avril told The Detroit Free Press. “Got to go through with all this extra stuff that I usually don’t get involved in, as far as with the media and all that stuff. It is what it is, though. I’m not salty about it at all."
“While we are disappointed that we could not execute a long-term deal, we do look forward to having Cliff with us this season under the terms of the franchise tag," said team president Tom Lewand.
Patriots WR Wes Welker, Redskins TE Fred Davis, Falcons CB Brent Grimes, Bengals PK Mike Nugent, Cowboys LB Anthony Spencer and Browns PK Phil Dawson have signed their respective franchise tenders for the 2012 season. They will be unrestricted free agents next March.
Welker and the Patriots reportedly had discussions, but the two sides remained far apart on a deal. According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dawson and the Browns wanted to get a long-term deal done, but could not.
In all, 21 players were franchised — a record. Bears RB Matt Forté, Jaguars PK Josh Scobee and Ravens RB Ray Rice beat the clock by signing long-term deals on Monday. Buccaneers PK Connor Barth, Raiders S Tyvon Branch, Saints QB Drew Brees, Cardinals DE Calais Campbell, Titans S Michael Griffin, Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, Colts DE Robert Mathis, Broncos PK Matt Prater and Giants P Steve Weatherford also all signed multi-year contracts after originally receiving the franchise tag.