Cliff Avril 'very optimistic' a long-term deal will happen

Cliff Avril has remained pretty grounded during this offseason as he plays the waiting game with the franchise tag.

The Detroit Lions placed the tag on the defensive end that will pay him $10.6 million this season unless a multi-year contract is hammered out before Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Avril said he is “very optimistic” a long-term deal will be brokered before the deadline, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Avril has said recently that his representatives have remained in contact with the club and Lions president Tom Lewand.

The Lions got a big deal worked out for wide receiver Calvin Johnson earlier this offseason and locking up Avril will keep another young, talented piece in place for the future. Nothing is in place for Avril yet but he’s likely basing his optimism in some progress that has been made in talks. We’ll see if it comes together for him.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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