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Cliff Avril still hopeful of long-term Detroit Lions deal

With the deadline to reach a multi-year extension coming up in eight days, franchised Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avrilremains hopeful that a deal can be reached, Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press reports Sunday.

"It's going," Avril said of the ongoing negotiations with the Lions. "The line of communication is still open, so I guess that's a positive."

Avril was one of three defensive ends to receive the franchise tag this offseason. The other two -- Calais Campbell and Robert Mathis -- have signed extensions. Those deals might not have helped Avril and the Lions in their talks, however.

Mathis received $17 million in guarantees, but is on the other side of 30 and is moving to linebacker. Campbell, who was picked 42 spots ahead of Avril in the 2008 NFL Draft, received $31 million in guarantees and has fewer sacks in his career than Avril.

With Campbell and Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson breaking the $30 million guarantee mark in the past two offseasons, that's a number Avril's camp will certainly want.

Avril has not yet signed the $10.605 million tender and missed the team's OTAs and minicamp, but he's unlikely to sit out the season. Avril has earned just over $4.2 million in his four-year career, $2.611 million coming while setting a career-high with 11 sacks in 2011. Avril's franchise tender would earn him $623,824 per week and represents nearly two and a half times what he earned from 2008 to 2011.

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