Cliff Avril says talks with Lions ongoing

Time is running out on Cliff Avril and the other players designated with the franchise tag to get a multi-year contract worked out.

The deadline is July 16, leaving eight days for Avril and the Detroit Lions to work out a deal that extends beyond the 2012 season. Avril sounds like he has at least a little optimism remaining for a deal, according to the Detroit Free Press.

It's going,” the defensive end said of communications between his party and Lions president Tom Lewand. “The line of communication is still open, so I guess that's a positive.”

If no deal is struck, Avril will be paid $10.6 million this season and the sides will face potentially the same situation a year from now. Deadlines spur action but you’re not sure how much space either side has to move in this case.

“This is my first go-around, so I don't know necessarily how Tom and those guys work. I don't know what their game plan is,” Avril said. “I'm just waiting on the call saying I can come back to work.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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