In order to avoid becoming a cap casualty like fellow offensive lineman Stephen Peterman, Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola had to restructure his contract. Since he is entering the final year of his contract, this means he is taking a pay cut. It's not clear just how big the pay cut is, but considering his old base salary for 2013 was $4.05 million, it's probably pretty significant.
Had the Lions decided to release Raiola, it's possible that he could have landed elsewhere with a new contract. He didn't have any interest in seeing that happen, though. Raiola made it clear that he didn't want to play for another team or leave Detroit, and he told Jennifer Hammond on Thursday that his desire to remain with the Lions is why he accepted a pay cut.
#Lions Center Dominic Raiola told me biggest reason he agreed to restructure his deal was "I love playing in Detroit and I love Detroit."— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) February 14, 2013
Raiola admitted to the Free Press that the talk of him potentially being cut was getting "a little uncomfortable." He started questioning whether he could play for another team and if he would even want to, so he ultimately decided to take less money to stay with the Lions.
Say what you want about his play, but there's no denying that Raiola is as loyal as they come. He has been with the Lions for a long time, and while many fans probably wish they would have just released him, it's nice to see how much this team and city mean to him.