Detroit Lions Franchise DE Cliff Avril
DETROIT, March 5- The Lions have applied the franchise tag to DE Cliff Avril, according to their website. The term of the tag is “non-exclusive.”
A third round draft pick in 2008, Avril closed out the 2011-2012 campaign with six forced fumbles and eleven sacks.
Avril’s standout stability last season was especially needed as DT Ndamukong Suh dealt with a rash of both on field and off-the-field issues. Another member of the Lions rookie draft pick Nick Fairley spent a large chunk of time battling injuries
Both the Lions and Avril were said to be at the negotiating table but could not hammer out a deal before today’s 4 p.m. deadline to franchise players.
With the non-exclusive tag, Avril may talk to other teams but the Lions have the right to match any offer that is put on the table for him. If this situation stands, the Lions will dole Avril $10.6 million next season.
Now the Lions are set to worry about a plethora of FA concerns such as LB Stephen Tulloch who became infamous last year for his “Tebowing” over Tim Tebow.