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Cliff Avril says Lions teammates are watching his contract talks

Cliff Avril is receiving a firsthand look at how the Detroit Lions handle the business side of football, and for better or worse, he said his negotiations serve as a lesson for his teammates.

"I'm pretty sure guys are definitely viewing it and looking at it," the defensive end recently told the Detroit Free Press. "I'm not sure if it's a good or bad signal. But I know guys that are coming into their final years of their contracts are probably viewing it and seeing what (the Lions are) going to do for some of their players.

The Free Press referenced defensive tackle Corey Williams, safety Louis Delmas and offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus as Lions starters who will become free agents following the 2012 season.

The Lions used their franchise tag on Avril, though he doesn't have any immediate plans to sign the tender in hopes of receiving a long-term contract from the Lions. The Free Press reported that little progress has been made in negotiations between the two sides, and Avril has sat out the Lions' offseason workout program, opting to work out on his own.

Avril, who led the Lions with 11 sacks last season along with six forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns, has maintained throughout the process that he understands this is part of the business.

"I'm trying to be the guy that sets a good example, I guess, in a sense of trying to be here and wanting to be here and hopefully they can keep me here," he said.

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