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Lions set to make Ricky Wagner top-paid right tackle

With tackle Riley Reiff and guard Larry Warford poised to reach the open market, the Detroit Lions are retooling their offensive line.

The Lions have agreed in principle with former Ravens right tackle Ricky Wagner, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via source informed of the discussions.

The prospective deal is expected to eclipse $9 million annually, establishing a new market for right tackles, Rapoport added.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2013, Wagner has started 47 of 62 games in Baltimore over the past four seasons. As the top right tackle available this year, he was ranked No. 27 on Around The NFL's list of the Top 101 free agents.

The Lions understand that protecting the quarterback is the top priority after Matthew Stafford spent the majority of last season in the MVP race. They're paying a high price to do so, compensating an average starter at a Pro Bowl level.

As The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta noted, Wagner will be paid at an annual rate that exceeds the combined salaries of the entire 2016 Seahawks offensive line.

That's the cost of making a splash in the first wave of free agency.

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