Lions general manager Martin Mayhew has been through tough negotiations before and says there’s a process to long-term contract talks like the ones the Lions are currently having with defensive end Cliff Avril.
“I’ve been through this before,” Mayhew told reporters before Wednesday’s minicamp practice. “There’s no panic button. We don’t panic. The plan is to get a long-term deal done with him and the (franchise) tender is out there and has always been available.”
The Lions have until July 16 to negotiate a long-term deal or Avril will be required to play the 2012 season under the one-year $10.6 million franchise tag.
“There’s a lot that goes on with that,” Mayhew said of the negotiations. “It’s a very complicated deal. It takes time to get some of these deals done. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised it’s not done now. I think its very complex and those guys are doing an outstanding job continuing to have dialogue.”
Lions president Tom Lewand has been the lead negotiator on the deal with Avril’s agent Brian Mackler, but Mayhew said he’s had dialogue with both.
“There’s a lot of dialogue that goes on. I think Tom has done an outstanding job with that. Brian Mackler is doing an outstanding job. I think Cliff is being very level headed.
“I don’t think the ball is in anybody’s court. The ball is in everybody’s court. We’re trying to get a long-term deal done with Cliff. It’s a process.”
The clock is ticking a little more than a month from the deadline.
Tags: Cliff Avril, Martin Mayhew
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