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Published: Tuesday, 7/17/2012

Avril not upset about signing franchise tag

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT -- Cliff Avril refused to lash out at the Detroit Lions after both sides ended negotiations on a multiyear contract.

"I'm not mad," Avril said in an interview with the Associated Press about 40 minutes before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done. "Business is business. You can't take it personal."

Avril will stay in Detroit as a franchise-tagged defensive end for at least one more season with a $10.6 million contract.

"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," Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement released by the team.

Lewand said the team had "extensive discussions" with Avril and his representative.

Avril wasn't encouraged by the tone of negotiations Sunday night and Monday morning.

"There was a stretch of talks, but I knew in my head it wasn't going to happen," Avril told the AP.

The 26-year-old Avril was hoping to be rewarded with a long-term contract for being a consistent playmaker for an improving team. He is the only NFL player with at least 19 1/2 sacks, nine deflected passes, seven forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries the previous two years.

When the Lions snapped their 11-season postseason drought last year, Avril had career highs with 11 sacks, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He has had 30 career sacks and 14 forced fumbles since 2008 when Detroit drafted him out of Purdue in the third round.

Browns sign wide receiver Gordon

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns signed rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon to a four-year, $5.3 million contract.

The Browns selected Gordon last week in the second round of the NFL's supplemental draft. The team forfeited a second-round pick in 2013 to get Gordon, a talented and troubled player who was dismissed at Baylor after testing positive for marijuana after his sophomore season. Browns general manager Tom Heckert said the team did exhaustive background checks on Gordon and are confident they're getting a player who can help them immediately.

Gordon had 42 catches for 714 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010 for Baylor. He transferred to Utah, but did not play there.

Heckert said last week that Gordon has the potential to be a No. 1 wide receiver.

RICE, FORTE GET DEALS: Ray Rice and Matt Forte got what they wanted: Long-term contracts that sometimes elude NFL running backs.

Neither Rice nor Forte was enamored of playing under the franchise tag tender in 2012, and negotiations went down to the wire.

Rice scored big with the Baltimore Ravens, getting $40 million for five years, while Forte took a four-year, $32 million deal with the Chicago Bears.

Also getting a longer contract just before the deadline was Jacksonville placekicker Josh Scobee, who will stay with the Jaguars for four years and $13.8 million.



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