February 14, 2014 in NFL Personnel
By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:
As the NFL offseason starts up, teams are starting to shape their rosters meaning some players are being re-signed while others are being released.
Detroit Lions re-sign C Dominic Raiola
First off this week is the 35-year old Raiola who re-signed with the Lions after being set to become a free agent in a few weeks.
Signing a one-year deal with a pay increase from last season, he stays with the only team that he has ever played for. Last year, he took a pay cut to say with the team and now the Lions are rewarding him for this by giving him a raise over the veteran minimum that he earned last year.
Drafted out of Nebraska in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft, he has started 188 games over his 13 seasons in Detroit. In his rookie year, he didn't start a single game, but he came back into his sophomore season strong and started all of the Lions games.
Ever since then, he has started every game that he has played in. From 2002-2008, he started 104-straight games before he missed four games in the middle of the 2008 season.
His current streak for consecutive starts is at 84-straight games and if he starts every game next season, his streak will reach 100. One streak of 100-consevative starts is impressive enough in the NFL, but two is almost unheard of.
Earlier this season, there was some controversy surrounding him due to an incident that occurred in Green Bay. In October at Lambeau Field he directed obscene and homophobic comments towards the University of Wisconsin marching band. A few days later, he apologized for his actions.
This was the only negative from his season as on the field, he played arguably his best season. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the second best center in the league this season ranking just behind Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The number one offseason priority for the Lions this offseason was to re-sign Raiola. This signing is good for them as he is the leader of their offensive line and a key veteran who is still playing well.
Minnesota Vikings release LB Erin Henderson
Staying in the NFL North, the Vikings parted ways with their starting middle linebacker from last season in Henderson.
A solid player, his downfall came due to incidents off the field. In early January, he was arrested for a DUI. This alone likely wouldn't have cost him his job, but add that to another DUI that came just two months earlier (along with possession of a controlled substance) and you see why the Vikings got rid of him.
This move clears $2.1 million in cap space for the Vikings so there is one positive that comes from this move for them.
Signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent after the 2008 NFL Draft, he made the team but was a backup for three seasons before making his first NFL start in 2011.
This season, he moved to inside linebacker after playing weakside linebacker last year. Making 12 starts and playing in 14 games, he finished second on the team in tackles with 112 tackles and added four sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
His performance ranked him as the 18th best inside linebacker in the league this season according to Pro Football Focus. He was strong in run support finished in the top 10 there, but really struggled in pass coverage finishing in the bottom 10.
For the Vikings, this move makes sense as the Vikings have a new coaching staff and they are getting a point across by showing that the players will be held accountable for their actions off the field.
Expect him to draw interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency as their new defensive coordinator is Leslie Frasier, who was recently fired as the Vikings' head coach.
The Detroit Lions cut S Louis Delmas.
The Detroit Lions release WR Nate Burleson.
The Green Bay Packers waive OL Greg Van Roten.
The Indianapolis Colts sign S David Sims.
The Indianapolis Colts cut G Justin Anderson.
The Kansas City Chiefs release CB Dunta Robinson.
The New Orleans Saints re-sign LB Keyunta Dawson.
The New Orleans Saints release S Roman Harper.
The New Orleans Saints release DE Will Smith.
The New Orleans Saints release CB Jabari Greer.
The Oakland Raiders re-sign G Lamar Mady.
The Philadelphia Eagles sign WR Joe Anderson.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign QB Mike Kafka.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut OL Gabe Carimi.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut DT Derek Landri.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut QB Jordan Rodgers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut RB Michael Hill.