O'HARA: Lions, Raiola agree to a one-year deal

Posted Feb 7, 2014

Dominic Raiola is expected to sign the deal next week to bring him back for his 14th season

Dominic RaiolaC Dominic Raiola (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

Dominic Raiola made 13 his lucky number through a combination of hard work, commitment and durability.

Raiola, who rebounded in 2013 to make his 13th NFL season -- all with the Lions -- one of the best of his career, reportedly has agreed to terms on a one-year contract to return to the Lions in 2014.

An announcement is expected next week, when the agreement becomes official.

Having Raiola back at center allows the Lions to fill more immediate needs through free agency and the draft.

Raiola was drafted by the Lions in 2001 and has been the starting center since opening day of 2002 after spending his rookie season as a backup on the offensive line and playing on special teams.

Durability has been one of Raiola's strengths. He gained weight last year when management expressed a concern that opposing defenses were getting too much pressure on the quarterback from the interior rush lanes.

He has missed only four games in his career -- all in 2008 because of a wrist injury.

Raiola is 17th among active players in regular season games played with 204 and ninth with 188 starts.

He has the Lions' career record for games played by a position player and can reach his often-stated goal of 200 starts with 12 more.