Center Dominic Raiola took a major pay cut to remain with the Lions for the 2013 season, a move that appears to have earned him a job for the 2014 season as well.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Lions and Raiola have agreed to a one-year deal that will keep Raiola from hitting free agency next month. There’s no word on the exact salary, but Birkett reports that Raiola will get a “nice raise” over the veteran’s minimum of $950,000 he wound up making last season.
Raiola had arguably his best professional season in 2013 with the biggest negative marks coming from an October incident at Lambeau Field that saw Raiola use obscene and homophobic comments toward members of the University of Wisconsin marching band. Raiola apologized for it a few days later and spent the rest of the season giving the Lions a strong middle to their offensive line.
With Raiola off the market, the top centers headed toward free agency are Alex Mack of the Browns, Brian de la Puente of the Saints and Evan Dietrich-Smith of the Packers.