It looks like Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola will not become a cap casualty after all. I say this because Raiola has agreed to restructure the final year of his contract with the Lions, according to Dave Birkett. This means Raiola should finish out his contract (it has one season left on it) and remain a member of the Lions for the 2013 season.
It was actually a bit of a surprise that Raiola wasn't released along with offensive guard Stephen Peterman and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch last week given that he had a cap hit of $6.06 million for 2013. Raiola's base salary was $4.05 million before his deal was restructured. It's not known what his contract now looks like, but it's safe to say that it is now more affordable and cap friendly for the Lions.
While I personally would have liked to see the Lions finally make an upgrade at center and move on from Raiola, it's clear they didn't want to shake up the offensive line quite that much. Already they are in need of a new right guard, and they could be in need of a new right tackle as well with Gosder Cherilus set to become a free agent. I suppose it's still possible for the Lions to find a new center, but with Raiola restructuring his contract, there's less pressure to fill that particular need.
With Raiola still in the fold for 2013, Bill Nagy now becomes the clear-cut favorite to take over at right guard for the Lions. Nagy can play both guard and center, and with Raiola still around, I'd imagine he will focus on becoming the starting right guard.