FEBRUARY 14: Raiola’s new contract will pay him a $1.5MM base salary for 2014, along with a $250K signing bonus, reports Birkett (via Twitter).
FEBRUARY 7: The Lions have re-signed center Dominic Raiola to a one-year contract, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter). After agreeing to a contract restructure a year ago that reduced his 2013 base salary to the veteran’s minimum, Raiola has received a “nice raise” this time around, according to Birkett.
Raiola, who turned 35 in December, has been a longtime mainstay of the Lions’ offensive line. With the exception of four 2008 contests, Raiola has started every single game in the last 12 seasons for the franchise, and appears poised to do the same in 2014. The Nebraska product indicated last month that he hoped to play a couple more seasons in the NFL, so it’s possible that this new one-year deal won’t be his last contract in the league.
While the specific financial details of the contract aren’t yet known, Raiola’s “nice raise” likely won’t be too drastic, since the Lions are already facing a cap crunch. As Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com detailed earlier this week, only three teams currently have less projected 2014 space than the Lions. However, Detroit can create some flexibility via cuts and restructures, and after re-signing Raiola, the team only has three 2013 starters still eligible for free agency, notes Birkett (via Twitter).