Former Husker Raiola inks four-year deal

Former Husker Dominic Raiola inked a new four-year deal with the Detroit Lions which will make him one of the highest paid centers in the league.

The Detroit Lions they have signed C Dominic Raiola to a four-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2013 season, the team announced on Thursday. Additional terms of Raiola's contract were not disclosed.

Raiola, 6-1, 295, enters his ninth season with the Lions and has been the team's starting center since 2002. Prior to a hand injury that forced him to miss his first career game and start vs. Jacksonville (11/9/08), he had played in every game for the Lions since being drafted in the second round (50th overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. Raiola had made 104 consecutive starts at center since the beginning of the 2002 season. Among centers in the league since 2001, he had the second-most consecutive starts (104) behind Denver C Casey Wiegman (112) and Atlanta C Todd McClure (112) at the time of his injury.

During his career, Raiola has played in 124 games (108 starts). In 2007, Raiola was voted an alternate to the Pro Bowl.

Raiola emerged as one of the most effective all-around centers in the league in 2006, showcasing his ability to get outside and block on the perimeter and to get to the second level.

Prior to 2005 season, he signed a five-year contract extension (March 13, 2005). In 2004, he centered an offensive line that developed into one of the top run-blocking lines in the NFL. By the end of that season, the line led the way for a rushing attack that ranked second in the NFL over the final seven games of the season.

For more on the Lions, check out Roar Report.

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