Lions put franchise tag on DE Cliff Avril

LARRY LAGE AP Sports Writer Published:

The Detroit Lions have placed the franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril.

Detroit made the move Monday, the last day the team could keep him from becoming a free agent next week.

The Lions retain Avril with a one-year contract, paying him the average of the five highest-paid players at his position. Both sides can continue to work on a long-term deal.

Detroit general manager Martin Mayhew has said he didn't plan to use the franchise tag and Avril made it clear he didn't want it.

The 25-year-old Avril has 19 1/2 sacks the past two seasons and 30 in his four-year career. He was a third-round pick out of Purdue in the 2008 NFL draft.