President Tom Lewand sounded an optimistic tone during Super Bowl week when discussing the re-signing of the team’s vital free agents – defensive end Cliff Avril, middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, cornerback Eric Wright and left tackle Jeff Backus.

He was equally upbeat about the chance of working out an extension for wide receiver Calvin Johnson, whose rookie contract expires after the 2012 season.

But he also offered this cautionary note: “There are only so many eggs in the basket.”

In other words, not every free agent is going to get what he’s looking for, so most likely not every free agent will be re-signed unless some agree to take less than they might get elsewhere. That’s the nature of the business in a salary-cap world.

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