LIONS INSIDER

Dominic Raiola says taking a pay cut was an easy decision

Posted May 29, 2013

A text from Matthew Stafford resonated with Raiola, reminding him of what he always said, that playing the game isn't for the money

Dominic Raiola agreed to a pay cut this offseason that saved the Lions approximately $3 million toward the salary cap. Money they used, in part, to sign Reggie Bush, Glover Quin and others.
Dominic RaiolaDominic Raiola (Photo: T. Altman/Detroitlions.com)

It was also implied that Raiola would have to earn the starting center spot he's occupied for the last 11 years.

Raiola told Chris McCosky of The Detroit News on Wednesday that his decision to take a pay cut was an easy one.

"It's a fact of life," he said. "I'm getting older. It's my job to come out here and prove myself. I still want to play. I still love the game and I love the organization. I want to win here and have winning years before I leave. There's unfinished business. It really wasn't a hard decision. I gave so much to this and they gave me so much. It's just coming to terms with me getting older.

"It's not unrealistic for anybody to say you've got to take a pay cut. It's ridiculous for me at this age to be making that much. It was an easy decision. You can't put a price tag on the relationships that you create here, on the people you meet off the field, uprooting, moving costs -- but besides all that, my heart wasn't anywhere else. I always wanted to be here."

Raiola agreed to reduce his base salary from a little more than $4 million to $1 million.

He also talked about a text message he got from quarterback Matthew Stafford right after the pay cut which resonated with him.

"He said, 'You always told me it wasn't about the money,' and that kind of hit me," Raiola said. "I always said, you want to play this game, you want to be good, you have to have a passion for it. If you start playing for money, then the years will become shorter and shorter.

"That's where I am now. You can say I am full of (expletive), but that's the way it is. It really isn't about money. I want to be here, wholeheartedly, I still want to play this game. I love this game."