Report: Cliff Avril says he will not be in training camp on time

Cliff Avril doesn’t expect to be in training camp on time when the Detroit Lions veterans report on July 27.

That is because the defensive end, who was designated with the franchise tag, did not receive a multi-year contract today before the deadline at 4 p.m. ET. That means Avril will be forced to play for $10.6 million, the value of the tag, this season. He had expressed optimism entering the weekend that a deal would be hammered out.

Avril told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press he is “kind of disappointed” and he “probably won’t be there” when camp opens. Avril can wait until the eve of the season to report and sign the tender if he wants. Once he does, the amount will be fully guaranteed for the season.

Definitely something I wanted, definitely wanted to be here long-term,” Avril told Birkett. “I wanted to get something done. I want to be with the Lions, I want to be in Detroit, but we’ll be back at the same situation next year, unfortunately. Got to go through with all this extra stuff that I usually don’t get involved in, as far as with the media and all that stuff. It is what it is, though. I’m not salty about it at all."

In a statement released by the club, Lions president Tom Lewand said “while we are disappointed that we could not execute a long-term deal, we do look forward to having Cliff with us this season under the terms of the franchise tender.”

Now, Avril will have to wait for a long-term deal until after this season. Or the Lions could choose to place the tag on him once again.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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