Cliff Avril on talks: 'We are moving closer'

If nothing else, it appears that the Detroit Lions have not totally given up on signing defensive end Cliff Avril to a multi-year contract extension before Monday's deadline to do so for franchise players.

Avril told SiriusXM NFL radio there has been movement in negotiations that have dragged on for months.

Avril: "I think we are moving closer. We are progressing. But there are still things that need to be ironed out, like the numbers."

As qualifiers go, "like the numbers" is a pretty big one. I took Avril to mean that there hasn't been an agreement on finances but that the sides aren't as far apart as they once were.

Put another way: Avril is suggesting the sides are within striking distance of a deal. They could make one if both sides continue to give ground, or they could agree to table discussions and cement Avril under the franchise tag for 2012. Six days and counting.