Dominic Raiola had been a mess to be around for a few weeks, since Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew approached his agent at the Senior Bowl last month and said he was thinking about making changes on the offensive line.
Raiola, with a sizeable $6.1-million cap figure, was a candidate to be released unless he agreed to take a pay cut in the final year of a deal he signed in 2009.
“That was kind of when I got a little uncomfortable, starting to have thoughts in my head: 'Can I play for somebody else? Do I want to play for somebody else?'” Raiola said. “I didn’t even want to entertain the thoughts. It’s been going on for a couple weeks now. The bottom line is I didn’t want to go anywhere else.”
Raiola agreed Tuesday to restructure the final year of his deal and will return for his 13th season with the Lions.
It’s not yet known what his cap number will be under terms of the new team-friendly contract, but Raiola said his desire to stay with the Lions wasn’t about money.
“When the numbers come out, you’ll see that wasn’t the reason,” he said.
The Lions created about $8.5 million in cap space earlier this month, when they released defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, right guard Stephen Peterman and receiver Titus Young.
They entered today about $2 million under next year’s projected cap of $121 million, and are still looking for more spending room before free agency opens March 12.
Lions' Dominic Raiola restructures contract: 'I didn't want to go anywhere else'
Detroit Free Press | Feb 15