Lions To Exercise Reiff’s 2016 Option

Exactly a month after general manager Martin Mayhew suggested the Lions had yet to make a decision on the fifth-year option for offensive tackle Riley Reiff, the GM said today that the team will pick up that 2016 option, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (via Twitter).

As I noted in March when Mayhew initially expressed some uncertainty about Reiff’s option, it would’ve been a huge surprise if the club had declined the option, considering how well the young lineman has played at left tackle over the last couple seasons. In 2014, Reiff’s Pro Football Focus grade (subscription required) placed him in a tie for 23rd out of 84 qualified offensive tackles.

By exercising Reiff’s fifth-year option, the Lions will extend the 26-year-old’s rookie contract by one year, keeping him locked up through the 2016 season. If the two sides don’t work out a longer-term agreement that adjusts his ’16 cap number, Reiff will be in line for a salary of $8.07MM for that season.

In addition to confirming that his team would pick up Reiff’s option, Mayhew made a number of other notable comments during his conversation with the media this morning. Here are the highlights, via Birkett, Tim Twentyman of, and Michael Rothstein of

  • Mayhew indicated that he has “empathy” for safety James Ihedigbo, who wants a new deal and didn’t report for the Lions’ voluntary offseason program. The GM is looking forward to discussing Ihedigbo’s contract situation “whenever I see him,” which suggests the team may want the safety to report before any negotiations take place (Twitter link).
  • The Lions spoke to Rob Sims‘ agent three weeks ago and made a contract offer, but haven’t heard back from the offensive lineman’s camp since then (Twitter link).
  • According to Mayhew, Detroit has yet to discuss a potential contract extension with Haloti Ngata, but there’s interest on both sides in getting something done eventually (Twitter link). While the GM expressed optimism about getting a veteran defensive tackle locked up, he also praised the depth at the position in this year’s draft, noting that the class is “especially” deep on the defensive line (Twitter link).
  • Although the Lions have had some dialogue about a new contract for linebacker DeAndre Levy, nothing is imminent on that front (Twitter link).
  • The Lions cut offensive lineman Rodney Austin after domestic violence allegations, but Mayhew said the team hasn’t closed the door on bringing him back if and when his legal issues are resolved (Twitter link).
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