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Cliff Avril not sure what makes Lions deal complicated


Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters last week that Cliff Avril's contract negotiations are "complicated" and "very complex."

When told of this description on Tuesday at headquarters, Avril rolled his eyes. The defensive end -- who has been unwilling to sign the team's franchise tender -- doesn't quite know where Mayhew is coming from.

"It can't be any more complicated than the next," said Avril, who hasn't attended the Lions' offseason activities. "I take it with a grain of salt, in a sense. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen. It's nothing to stress out about, I know I'm not stressed out over it. I don't know what makes it more complicated though."

Avril is reportedly seeking a long-term deal worth more than $42 million. The two sides were apart by about $2 million per season, as of last month.

"If they're going to give me a deal, we'll eventually get it," he said. "If not, I'll have to unfortunately play under the tag and be in the same situation again next year, and that's what I'm really trying to avoid. I want to be with my team, I want to keep getting better with this team, but it's all up to management from that point."

Will Avril be with teammates when training camp kicks off next month?

"I don't know. I really don't know. The deadline for me right now is July 16, that's the last chance we have to get a deal done, and I'm anticipating getting a deal done before then. We'll see."

Avril led the Lions with 11 sacks and six forced fumbles last season. The Lions would do themselves a favor by keeping an emerging star happy.


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