Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril has yet to sign the team's $10.6 million franchise tender. He's been a no-show at Detroit's voluntary workout program and doesn't figure to make an appearance at next week's mandatory minicamp.
Albert Breer reported last month the sides are $2 million per year apart in talks, putting the gap in the neighborhood of $8 million to $10 million for a four- to five-year deal.
Asked to clarify if he meant the so-called ball was back in Lewand's so-called court, Avril said, "Nah, we're not passing back and forth."
Avril expressed hope that "things will work themselves out" in time for training camp.
"It's never personal," he told the Detroit News. "I still have to work for these people. I still have to play football. You can't make it personal."
Coach Jim Schwartz expressed hope this week that a deal could be reached, but there's little indication that's about to happen. If Detroit fails to sign Avril by July 16, he could choose to play this year under the franchise tender and become a free agent in 2013. The goal in Detroit is to get him on the field. He remains one of the game's most exciting pass rushers and a core member of this disruptive, young defense.
"We talk about (our situations) here and there, just see how we're doing mentally or what their gameplan is," Avril said. "Everybody's kind of doing the same thing. ... That's about it, really."