The Detroit Lions continue to pump more resources into their offensive line even after drafting Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they have now given center Frank Ragnow a four-year extension that will make him the highest-paid center in the NFL.
While contract details aren’t quite out yet, to give you a ballpark figure of what Ragnow may be getting, the previously highest-paid center in the league was Corey Linsley, who just signed a five-year, $62.5 million contract with the Chargers ($12.5M a year).
UPDATE: Per NFL Network’s Tom Peliserro, Ragnow’s deal is worth $13.5 million per year, just under $70 million in total.
Last year was Ragnow’s breakout season. He earned PFF’s second-highest grade among centers (80.3), while also earning second-team All-Pro honors and being named to the 2020 Pro Bowl team. A couple of weeks back, the Lions exercised Ragnow’s fifth-year option (worth $12.7 million), locking him up for the 2022 season. Now, it appears he’s signed on until 2026.
After the 2021 NFL Draft, general manager Brad Holmes called Ragnow a “foundational piece,” and the team would be looking to extend him in the future.
“I’m not going to comment on timetable right now, that would be a little bit premature, but we’re not sitting back and waiting on that one,” Holmes said.
With Ragnow signed through 2026, left tackle Taylor Decker inked through 2024, Jonah Jackson on his rookie deal through 2023, and rookie Penei Sewell eventually signed through 2024 (with a team option in 2025), the Lions’ offensive line foundation is set for, at the very least, the next three seasons, likely more.