Lions to give Frank Ragnow contract extension as foundational piece

Frank Ragnow #77 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Frank Ragnow #77 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Many believe if you are going to build a football team the right way, it starts from the inside out in the trenches. And make no mistake, the Detroit Lions are amidst a rebuild. That after three straight seasons spent in the basement of the NFC North, where the team was only able to record a total of 14 wins in their last 48 games.

The Lions’ rebuild began this offseason with the hiring of Brad Holmes as general manager and Dan Campbell as head coach. It continued with the trade of quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for veteran passer Jared Goff and a draft bounty.

But during the 2021 NFL Draft, the focus on improving the trenches became evident. The new regime in Detroit used their first three draft selections (and four of their total seven picks) on the offensive and defensive line. Their top selection? Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, who is expected to start at right tackle opposite another first-rounder, left tackle Taylor Decker.

At the center of the offensive line is Frank Ragnow, coming off his first Pro Bowl nomination in 2020. The 20th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Ragnow figured to be a key foundation piece for the new regime in Detroit.

And that was confirmed on Thursday as the Lions have reportedly agreed to sign Ragnow to a contract extension that will apparently make him the highest-paid center in NFL history. According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero per an unnamed source, Detroit will reportedly pay the fourth-year center an average of $13.5 million per year equalling just under $70 million through 2026.

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The Detroit Lions now have an offensive line that should be the envy of every NFL team. But they’ve also invested high draft resources to get into this envious position, spending the seventh overall selection just last week to land Penei Sewell. The extension given to Frank Ragnow is just another move to rebuild the Lions the right way, from the inside out.