Source: Detroit Lions restructure C Dominic Raiola’s contract

Posted by ttwentyman on February 14, 2013 – 3:33 pm

The Lions have continued their cost-cutting efforts this offseason by agreeing to a restructure with veteran center Dominic Raiola on the final year of his four-year, $20 million contract, according to a league source.

Financial details weren’t immediately known, but it’s likely the contract is not guaranteed.

Raiola, 34, was set to make $4 million in base salary and count a little more than $6 million toward the 2013 salary cap.

The team has already lopped $8.5 million off next years cap with the release last week of Titus Young, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Stephen Peterman.

Those moves put the Lions under the expected $121 million salary cap for 2013 and Raiola’s restructure gives them even more flexibility to improve the roster when free agency begins March 12.

Raiola was drafted by the Lions in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft and has only missed four games over a 12-year career. He’s started every game at center over the last four seasons.

General manager Martin Mayhew said after the season that the Lions allowed too much interior pressure, which contributed to some of Matthew Stafford’s struggles at quarterback. The main culprits were Peterman and Raiola.

Raiola will potentially have to compete with Bill Nagy, 25, who was claimed by the Lions in August. Nagy started four games at left guard for the Cowboys as a rookie in 2011 and was competing for time at center last year before an ankle injury and subsequent surgery ended his season and resulted in his eventual release.

The Lions will also continue to look at options in both free agency and April’s draft to improve upfront, but Raiola’s return does keep a veteran presence in the locker room and the meeting room.

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Source: Detroit Lions restructure C Dominic Raiola’s contract”

  1. By Angry Lions fan on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    NO!! Riaola is the main reason for the Lions interior getting blown up! Hes too small, old, soft and weak to be playing the center position these days, especially with Ferocious Defensive Tackles like Suh, Ngata, Seymouor, and Atkins bull dozing there way to quarterbacks. The only thing he offers in leadership but leadership isn’t going to save Mathew Staffords life. I hope they address this position in the free agency…

  2. By Wajiboy on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Ya keep this waj there as a back up or older guy when the kido’s get confused but please get us a bigger center to start and try not to keep making the same mistakers that don’t work. Otherwise Mr. GM you will be having to look for another job. From you buddy the nigger in Texas ok.

  3. By Wajiboy on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Hey I also got a guy with size that can play ball that looks just like Calvin’s twin look a like as far as his looks. And I know he can play ball better than some of the recevers on the roster we have now because he currently does play b ball also. If you interested in this guy send me an email to You will think your looking at Calvin when you see this guy and be so suprised. He even has the same personality too. And I can set up a meeting with you also.

  4. By Wajiboy on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    That email is There was a typo error on that.

  5. By Wajiboy on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    When the draft comes get the offensive line done and also a real DE and make sure you get something when you trade Avril. He wants to much money and he’s not worth spending that much. I would have already made the trade before I gave him the franchise tag you stupids gave offered him. And anyone else that wants to much and is average trade them. You should have also made a few calls on that idiot WR you let go and the OL I would have got something for him. Oviously don’t know how to talk or nego deals isnt that apparent. Are concerned that you style may show as effortless. You know who Im talking about. I personally dont know how you guys got a job there. I should apply for your postion Mr. GM or President since I have a masters in both behavorial science and law and am very suave at making deals happen. You idiots are just pretending your doing something for the pay check. Thats easy to see I mean you should have been more active in knowing the team really wasn’t set and that the 10 wins should have been 6 only. But now you know that. It takes stupid a little longer to see that.

  6. By LionsFanInWichita on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Personally, I think that Nagy should get a hard look at RG and C both. With Peterman gone and Raiola on the wrong side of 35, the interior line needs a lot of help from wherever the Lions can get it. Nagy can help, possibly Austin off the practice squad as well. Guards like Larry Warford (Kentucky) and Travis Frederick (Wisconsin) could likely be available in the third round this year, and both are run-blocking road grader types that the Lions need badly. The first two picks (or three if the Leos trade out of 5) need to address the anemic defense, particularly DE and S. JMO.

  7. By jack ostrander on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    this is a bunch of bull shit. we have know Riolia gets pushed back into stafford every dam play. can,t get one yd up the middle, and yet you still keep this stupid jerk.
    Draft his replacement or let Naggy play before he does and sit him on the bench maybe he can play guard ha ha… riloia the weaker part of the o line.. if they don,t know this lots of stupid coaches there…

  8. By LionHeart on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Wajiboy, you can barely spell, so I would say you overpaid for your master’s degrees.
    I would like to know the details of this deal. Raiola could be a very valuable mentor for whoever is to replace him (who must be on the team this season). He’s also a good interview and seems like someone who is a Detroit Lion, through and through.

  9. By Black Wolf Standing on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    One of the hardest positions on the offensive line is the center. He has to snap the ball and hold the ball in position until the QB pulls it out. He also is responsible for line integrity. Meaning if the guards give an inch, he MUST back pedal to keep gaps from opening up. And the single hardest thing on an offensive line to do is a controlled back peddle. Look at Riola’s resume before you say he is the problem. I can easily say both guards are more responsible for Riola’s play than he is.

    Now Riola is getting up in age for a lineman, and his replacement is Nagy. But Nagy came to the Lions injured and was a risk the Lions took to try and improve the center position. The Lions won’t get rid of Riola until Nagy can prove he can handle the same duties and sometimes that means long snapping too.

    Look for the Lions to keep Riola as back-up center/guard and long snapper. Riola will transition until Nagy can start.

    And just remember this: Riola’s new contract may not be guaranteed. That way the Lions can waive him without taking a cap hit.

  10. By Raymond on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    A great move riolas presence anchors the offensive line he plays hard.way to go front office.

  11. By dmick on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Having a disappointing season is just what the Lions needed. They do not have their ducks in a row for a continuous playoff run. 4 and 12 is just what the doctor ordered. Now with some house cleaning, pick up some younger players in free agency and a good draft, the Lions can be in a good position for many future playoff runs. My only concern is the offense and especially the defense cannot be so predictable. Your linebackers need to crowd the line and your defensive line players need to move around more and stunt. Please stop with the linebackers 4 to 5 yards off the line and your D-line lining up before the opposing offense line lines up. If your lucky enough to get Jarvis Jones he should always be on the defensive line driving coordinators crazy with intermittent blitzing You need to draft Raiola’s replacement.

  12. By firststrategic on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Although Railoa is dependable and somewhat durable, he has long been a problem with the Lion’s pathetic running game ever since Barry left. The few times he was out due to injury the Lions RBs excelled. The Lions would be wise to draft either that kid from Alabama at Center or Cage from Notre Dame. Either should go after the 2nd round. Also, the Lion should find out how good Green, Greenwood and Bentley are before drafting another CB with their #5 pick. That pick would be better used drafting a lethal weapon at MLB. THis is a big year for the Lions draft and they need to get it right again, and even add a few spots if possible. It would be nice to know the potential of last years haul of LBs and if they are capable of starting this year.

  13. By john on Feb 14, 2013 | Reply

    Until we correct our considerable defensive dysfunctions, all of these postings on the offensive line are really extraneous. Stafford can certainly use better protection, but without a real defense, one that can stifle opposition quarterbacks and squash their rush, we’ll continue to be marginal, or worse. I’d stress DEFENSE during free agency and much of the draft. Remember, when push gets down to shove, opposing teams can always count on driving down the field and making mince meat of us. That’s not Raiola’s (or our offensive line’s) fault. Let’s get real.

  14. By jay on Feb 15, 2013 | Reply

    I agree, 4-12, is what the team needed. It was clear they were not ready. The OC and DC need to be looked at closely. Playing the corners and Linebackers too deep is a problem. They are hesitant to play the young guys, so how do you know what they can do in a game situation. I hope that 2013 is better.

  15. By Shane on Feb 15, 2013 | Reply

    Since Raiola is not a guaranteed deal, then who cares. Avril is not worth resigning – he has 1 on 1 matchups for the last two years with solid numbers but nothing spectacular. Hes a plain speed rusher, not worth the money. The managing aspect of this team is for less of a better word, pathetic. To have 23 free agents in one offseason including most of the starting defense, is sad. If you lose Delmas and Houston, that secondary will look even more pathetic with you’re 1 defensive end on the roster that barely made special teams last year. To mangae is to keep the core of your defense and draft responsibly. That was not done. No backup DT’s. One starting linebacker. No corners that can play football. Both safeties are free agents. BTW Delmas is the best player on that Defense. Smart move bringing in other free gaents for interviews when you have a much better palyer right in front of you. If resignings aren’t made – this defense will be more patheitc then last year. Offensively it will be the same, 1st down – run up the middle – one yard, second down – short curl route to pettigrew, likely dropped – 3rd down – hope calvin bails you out. BTW ALL done in Shotgun formation! 4th down -Put unbelievably bad special teams on the field. If you can sign Bush at around 5 million, take it! If not draft in third rd a speedy RB, for 3rd down screens. This will amke or break Mayhew this offseason, after all he put this team in this position. But hey, its The Ford Family, lets run the team in the ground for a decade before replacing the GM.

  16. By Don on Feb 16, 2013 | Reply

    OK, It’s Time for Crazy Don and his football Idea’s.
    Just The way I think. (:
    I think that we should Put Naggy in at center and have Raiola teach him everything that he knows.
    And ( This is where NO one will agree) We should Take Eric fisher OT 6’7″ 305 lbs.Central Michigan. And either sign Backus to a one year deal and have him play guard and teach either Raief or the New Rookie Fisher the Left tackle position.or draft another O-Lineman with the Next pick to Play Guard.
    And someone mentioned waiting to see how last years CB picks are going to do. I would say that to however by that time it is Too late.
    I like Bill Bentley and Cris Greenwood However the fact that they got injured right away Worries me. Enough with the part time player please! Not that I am saying to give up on these two because I’m not. In fact I can’t wait to get a chance to see what Greenwood can do! Just Give him a chance cuz this Guy might need a little time to get over the heeby jeebees seeing that he is Still a Rookie even if it is his 2nd year.
    I do Need to do some more Research on this years CB class. I do know that I have heard of a few Ball hawks that are in this class. and Last year things just didn’t work out with these CB getting hurt. I thought that Bently was a Ball hawk and maybe he is But he needs to stay on the field long enough to prove it, and the same with Greenwood. I know everyone is hot on the CB from Bama and maybe he is the real deal. Personally if he isn’t a Ball hawk a game changer. Then he should be a pass him bye and get the Guy who gets the ball and makes the tackle.But like I say if he is the real deal.
    Sometimes, Taking a CB I believe should be dissected the way that you do when you pick a QB.Well enough of that for now (:
    OH, I also hope that we resign a lot of players back.
    also I was thinking of Two Players that we let go that were game changers and that made things happen. and I do not understand the letting go of these two players RB,although I thought he made a great slot receiver, Aaron Brown, I believe that he was out of Texas christian, I don’t know if he was a problem in the locker room or what but what I do know is that he made things happen and he was also one of the Fastest players that I have ever seen. And then Bobby Carpenter? Talk about a play maker. The guy just had the Ball coming to him like there was a sending unit in it. Fumble recoveries? Interceptions? What? I’m tellin ya! anyways GO LIONS! .

  17. By jacksprat57 on Feb 19, 2013 | Reply

    Shane wrote: “The managing aspect of this team is for less of a better word, pathetic. To have 23 free agents in one offseason including most of the starting defense, is sad.” …. This impasse was both predictable and unavoidable by the current management. It’s the continuing legacy of the Millen Era. Think back to 2008, when Millen was fired. That team was arguable the least talented in NFL history. So, it was going to be picking in the Draft VERY high for several years. Well, that’s a mixed blessing. Long-term, the talent will be there to excel. However, short-term, pending the rise in the cap after the 2014 season, the contracts of Stafford, Suh, and C.J. will continue to consume some 40% of the current cap. There’s little choice but to make the best of things, my friend. Money is and will continue to be tight; therefore, hard choices will remain necessary.

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