Avril hopes he’s not franchised

Free agent defensive end Cliff Avril says he has no idea whether the Detroit Lions will apply the franchise tag to him.

He hopes they don’t.

Avril said Friday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he wants to sign a long-term contract to stay in Detroit.

The Lions can use the franchise tag on Avril to keep him off the market with a one-year deal for the average of the five highest-paid defensive ends as soon as Monday or as late as March 5. Free agency begins March 13.

Avril’s agent, Brian Mackler, says talks are moving ”very slowly” with the Lions.

Team president Tom Lewand declined comment Friday and general manager Martin Mayhew has said he doesn’t plan to use the franchise tag.