The Detroit Lions took care of an important piece of business on Friday afternoon by re-signing center Dominic Raiola to a one-year deal, according to Dave Birkett. It's unclear how much Raiola's new contract will pay him in 2014, but Birkett reports that the 35-year-old Raiola is going to get a "nice raise" for his 14th season in the NFL.
At this time last year, Raiola was actually almost released. The Lions nearly made him a cap casualty when they released Stephen Peterman and Kyle Vanden Bosch. However, Raiola elected to take a pay cut, and by lowering his salary from $4.05 million to $1 million, he stayed on the roster going into the 2013 season.
Keeping Raiola on a lower salary turned out to be a great move for the Lions, as he had a career-best season. Raiola was one of the top centers in all of the NFL, and he was a big part of the Lions' outstanding offensive line. The O-line really surprised a lot of people by becoming a strength, and Raiola's improvement had a lot to do with that.
With Raiola back under contract for 2014, you can move center down the list of needs. The Lions still need to be thinking about what they are going to do at this position beyond 2014, but it appears that they won't be in need of a new starter at center this year.