Lions apply franchise tag on DE Avril

The Detroit Lions placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on defensive end Cliff Avril before Monday's 4 p.m. (et) deadline.

If Avril and the team are unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract, the 25-year-old Florida native is set to earn $10.6 million next season, a significant raise from his 2011 salary of $2.61 million.

The Purdue product has improved his sack total each season since being drafted in 2008 by the Lions. He paced the team in that category this past season with 11 while starting all 16 games for the first time in his career.

In 57 games with Detroit, Avril has 30 sacks, 133 tackles, 14 forced fumbles and returned his lone interception for a touchdown.