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Details on Frank Ragnow’s contract extension with the Lions revealed

Detroit is getting a massive bargain over the next two seasons.

AP

Earlier this month, the Detroit Lions and All-Pro center Frank Ragnow agreed on a four-year contract extension, signing him through the 2026 season. Ragnow immediately became the highest-paid center in the NFL, but now that the details on the contract have become available, it appears that its structure is very team-friendly—especially over the next two seasons.

Before the extension was signed, Ragnow was set to make $3.75 million in 2021 and $12.7 million in 2022 after his Pro Bowl nomination raised his fifth-year option. Now that the restructuring is in place, those numbers have been adjusted.

Let’s take a look at how his contract breaks down over the next six years, details courtesy of Overthecap.com:

2021

Base salary: $1,209,111 (fully guaranteed)
Prorated signing bonus: $2,861,843
Roster bonus: $0
Workout bonus: $0
2021 cap hit: $4,070,954

2022

Base salary: $2,751,529 (fully guaranteed)
Prorated signing bonus: $4.8 million
Roster bonus: $0
Workout bonus: $0
2022 cap hit: $7,551,529

2023

Base salary: $11.55 million
Prorated signing bonus: $4.8 million
Roster bonus: $0
Workout bonus: $100,000
2023 cap hit: $16.45 million

2024

Base salary: $7.9 million
Prorated signing bonus: $4.8 million
Roster bonus: $0
Workout bonus: $100,000
2024 cap hit: $12.8 million

2025

Base salary: $9.15 million
Prorated signing bonus: $4.8 million
Roster bonus: $0
Workout bonus: $100,000
2025 cap hit: $14.05 million

2026

Base salary: $11.9 million
Prorated signing bonus: $3.6 million
Roster bonus: $750,000
Workout bonus: $100,000
2026 cap hit: $16.35 million

While Ragnow’s contract slightly increases ($322,728) in 2021, it drops over $5.1 million in 2022, which will help the Lions salary cap space as the league continues to work its way out of the deficit that COVID created in 2020. By 2023, Ragnow’s contract hits its peak, but that is right around the time the league is expected to have a much more manageable salary cap in place.

After the 2024 season, Ragnow will only have $8.4 million in guarantees remaining on his contract. While the odds are they won’t be considering cutting him at that point, this low number creates a window (2025 through 2026) for another contract restructure if they need cap space, or if they want to give him another extension.