Finally seeing Ricky Wagner's deal with #Lions: 5 years, $47.5 million w/ $17.5M in Year 1. $12M more gtd for injury. Another tackle paid.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 11, 2017
With the signing of the contract, Wagner becomes the highest-paid right tackle in the league. Technically, Lane Johnson is making more than Wagner, but Johnson will take over at left tackle for the Eagles at some point.
Wagner will not be making that shift to the left side. Taylor Decker has that position locked down, meaning Wagner will be Riley Reiff’s replacement on the right side. Reiff, who ended up with the Minnesota Vikings, quickly fell out of favor in Detroit under general manager Bob Quinn. Reiff was demoted to right tackle last year and the Lions did not appear to aggressively pursue him in free agency.
Wagner appears to be a significant upgrade from Reiff. Many considered him the highest right tackle on the market, and he graded out much higher in Pro Football Focus’ grades. And at 27 years old, Wagner could be in Detroit for the long haul.
In comparison to Wagner, the Vikings are giving Reiff quite a bit more money. In fact, it works out to be more than $2 million more per year.
According to Ben Goessling of ESPN, Reiff signed a deal worth $58.75 million over five years. Here’s the breakdown of that contract:
Reiff gets an $11M signing bonus, a $6.2M guaranteed base in 2017 and $9.1M guaranteed base in 2018. Total guarantee of $26.3M.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) March 10, 2017
The Vikings also signed Mike Remmers, and considering Reiff’s contract details, it certainly seems as if Riley will be moving back to left tackle. Still, it looks like the Lions got a pretty fair deal for Wagner, all things considered.
UPDATE: Dave Birkett has more details on the contract:
Here's the full Wagner contract: $14.5M signing bonus. Base salaries of $3M each of the next 2 years, $9M in 2019-20.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 11, 2017
Wagner has $17.5M guaranteed up front. Next year's base guaranteed only for injury for now.— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) March 11, 2017