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Dominic Raiola's future with Detroit Lions in question


Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is making moves like his job depends on it (and it does).

Problem-child wide receiver Titus Young was shown the door. Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and guard Stephen Peterman were given pink slips as Mayhew announced the Lions would be active in free agency.

In that vein, Lions coach Jim Schwartz was asked about the status of center Dominic Raiola, who will be in the final year of his contract in 2013.

"Our roster is still a work in progress," Schwartz said, according to's Anwar Richardson. "We're preparing right now for free agency. We got back from the Senior Bowl when we were working on draftable players this year. We're balancing right now as a coaching staff, working on all our cut-ups and evaluating those. I think I said this before, a lot of times you get a little different perspective of players from the end of the season. The way you felt the day after the season and month later when you've got done all your cut-ups, and things like that, free agency, and the draft.

"It's always a work in progress. Martin's famous for saying there's no finish line when it comes to your roster. I'm sure there will be other things that we do, but these other ones came up right away. Different things with each of those moves."

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Schwartz isn't exactly saying "Raiola is our starter." The 34-year old has spent all 12 seasons of his NFL career with the Lions, and is due $4.05 million next season, counting for $6 million against the salary cap. Raiola is an outspoken locker-room leader, but he's also an average NFL center on the backside of his career. The Lions need to get younger and more physical up front, and Martin is running out of retooling time after the team regressed to four wins in 2012.

"If I was going to restructure Dom's deal, I would talk to Dom about it first before I talked to you guys about it," Mayhew said. "When we make those decisions, we act on those things, and then we deal with the players and agents, and you guys find out after that."

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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