Lions to pick up fifth-year option on OT Riley Reiff

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said Friday he is finishing up the paperwork to pick up the fifth-year option on offensive tackle Riley Reiff.

The No. 23 overall pick in 2012 started 31 games over the past two season. The fifth-year option will cost the Lions about $8 million in 2016, guaranteed for injury only.

The Lions had been on the fence about picking up the option year. Last season they famously declined the option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley in order to motivate him for the upcoming season -- Fairley signed with the St. Louis Rams during free agency.

Reiff has been an average left tackle the past two seasons. He rated as Pro Football Focus' 15th-best left tackle in 2014.

There has been a lot of discussion about Reiff's future at left tackle. Depending on who the Lions select in next week's draft, Reiff could end up moving to right tackle. Mayhew said Friday he was comfortable with Reiff playing either the right or left side. Some scouts believe the former first-round pick would be better suited at guard, but with a dearth of talent at the tackle position, the Lions don't appear headed in that direction, despite the need on the interior.

Some other notes from Mayhew's news conference:

»Mayhew said he has "empathy" for safety James Ihedigbo, who is skipping workouts in hopes of getting a new contract. As a former defensive back, Mayhew said he understands players feeling like they deserve a raise. However, the GM said he wouldn't get into whether or not he plans to re-do the safety's contract.

»Mayhew said there have been no discussions about a contract extension for newly acquired defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, but Ngata's agent knows the team is interested in a deal at some point.

»The Lions have started talks about an extension for linebacker DeAndre Levy, Mayhew said, but nothing appears imminent.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast conducts a redraft of the 2014 NFL Draft before chatting about this year's event with Daniel Jeremiah. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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