It's judgment week for franchise players around the NFL. Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril is one of the many who needs a long-term contract extension by July 16 or he won't get one this season.
Avril, for one, is surprisingly positive about his chances for a deal. He told Adam Schein on NFL Sirius XM Radio that he was "very optimistic" a deal will be completed by Monday's deadline.
"I think we are moving closer. We are progressing. But there are still things that need to be ironed out, like the numbers," Avril said Tuesday.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press wrote Tuesday that he "wouldn't hold his breath" about a potential deal. We agree. The Lions have too many other long-term contract priorities next offseason to worry about before Avril.
He's a very good player who is looking to be paid like a superstar. A one-year contract makes a lot of sense for the Lions.