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Cliff Avril, Detroit Lions separated by $2M

The standoff between Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints burns on our radar, but he's not the only veteran unhappy about being slapped with the franchise tag.

In a revealing column by NFL Network's Albert Breer, we learned that defensive end Cliff Avril and the Detroit Lions are separated by roughly $2 million per year in their ongoing talks over a long-term deal.

Avril's people seek a four-year deal in excess of $42 million (with more than half guaranteed), topping the $10.605 million value of the player's tender, Breer reported.

The sides are far apart, but Avril, 26, is staying positive, telling Breer he's "fortunate enough to play football for a living." He remains compelled, however, to take a calm, business-first approach to his crucial second contract.

"This part of the game sucks," Avril said. "But don't mistake this -- I'm preparing myself for when I do return."

Avril's approach to hammering out a deal with the Lions stands in contrast to the public, somewhat contentious words issued by Brees in recent days. Albert dug in deep to tell a story we don't often hear. A must-read for you offseason junkies.

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