The big and fast, bad boys of the D will dominate defensive lines at a great price! That’s right; you can have your very own top pass protection for pennies on the dollar!
Well maybe you can’t, but the Detroit Lions somehow pulled this off. For less than $7.5 million, the Lions put together the NFL’s greatest pass blocking unit of 2013.
In comparison, there are seven left tackles alone who are set to make more than $9.5 million this year.
You must be asking how the blanket’s nest could this happen? Let’s dive through the numbers!
Totally revitalized and playing arguably the best ball of his career is center Dominic Raiola. According to Pro Football Focus he grades out as the top center in the NFC. So how much are the Lions paying him? Just $1 million.
Raiola will be a free agent next season and is turning 35 years old in December. The good news is center is the easiest line position to replace through the NFL Draft. Unlike tackle and guard, a top five center can easily drop to the third round.
The greatest improvement on this year’s offensive line compared to 2012’s unit is at right guard. Stephen Peterman ranked as the worst lineman for the Lions last season allowing 45 quarterback disruptions.
Out with the old, in the new. Rookie guard Larry Warford is using his 333-pound frame to manhandle anyone in his path. Price tag on the big baby? The third-rounder is earning $579,250 this year.
The Lions have bookend tackles for years to come in Riley Reiff (24) and LaAdrian Waddle (22).
2012 first rounder Reiff protects Matthew Stafford’s blindside with his ultra-quick feet and sound Iowa-taught technique. The left tackle makes a little over $1.8 million from the Leos.
At right tackle LaAdrian Waddle is an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech. All he’s done in his first two starts is get the highest grades of any Lion offensive linemen according to Pro Football Focus. This Christmas gift is $408,333.
Finally, at left guard Rob Sims is as consistent as they come. The savvy veteran will be making $3.4 M.
Reiff, Waddle, Warford and Sims are all under contract with similar terms for next season as well.
Your Detroit Lions front office did this. That’s right Matt Millen, breathe it in. Soak in the freshly-churned Lions butter!
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