Cliff Avril churned his legs fast and furious Monday as he rode a stationary bike in the middle of the weight room at Total Sports in Wixom, and it was hard not to notice the Fathead in his likeness plastered on the wall a few feet away -- the one that may or may not need updating next week.

Avril will become an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. March 12 unless he and the Lions agree on a new long-term deal before then.

On Saturday, free agents can officially begin negotiating with other teams, and Avril promises to be one of the most sought-after defensive ends if he's allowed to test the market.

He said Monday, as he has plenty of times before, his preference is to remain a Lion. But the reality is, time is dwindling for that happen.

"(This week will) give me a good idea of what's going on, if I'll be here or if I'll be gone," Avril said. "This week will definitely gauge that, I guess."

So far, Avril said there has been only minimal contact between the Lions and his agent, Brian Mackler.

The two sides met at the NFL combine last month and expect to talk again this week, though Avril insists he doesn't know where contract talks stand.

Over the weekend, Avril saw Lions coach Jim Schwartz at former teammate Kyle Vanden Bosch's wedding, but the two had only casual conversation that had nothing to do with football.

"Honestly, we haven't really talked that much," Avril said.