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Cliff Avril, Lions break off contract talks; Avril not sure he'll report to camp on time

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Avril will play under his $10.6 million franchise tag. (US Presswire)

About 90 minutes before the 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise tag players to sign long-term deals, it sounds like there's no hope for the Lions and defensive end Cliff Avril to come to an agreement.

That's the word from CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora, who confirms that Avril and the Lions have broken off negotiations. As La Canfora has been reporting, the two sides never got close and “had some big differences about where the numbers should be.” Apparently as much as $2 million per year.

NFL.com's Albert Breer was the first to report the news, and he writes that the Lions final offer was in the neighborhood of three years for $30 million with $20 million guaranteed. But Avril told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that the sides weren't even that apart.

"It was close," Avril said. "It was like the size of a small ditch in the road. Neither side wanted to cross the ditch."

Obviously, it wasn't close enough.

"I'm kind of disappointed that it didn't happen, but obviously I'm just not one of their top guys right now as far as getting a deal done," Avril told the Detroit Free Press.

The news aren't all that surprising. We told you earlier Monday that a deal probably wasn't going to happen because Avril -- who will now play under the $10.6 million tag -- has produced major results in just one season and because he had told the Detroit Free Press a few days ago: “I' m hopeful, but I don't know. I'm not getting a good vibe, let's put it that way.”

And now it's not going to happen.

Good thing Avril has decided he's not going to stress out about it.

And here's Avril's matter-of-fact response minutes after the news was broken.

UPDATED (4:58 p.m. ET): According to the team's official website, Avril isn't sure whether he'll report to the team's training camp on time.

“I probably won't be there the first day,” Avril said. “We'll just go from there. I just have to sit down and see what we think is right and we'll go from there.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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