Raiola: 'Different people on different pedestals' under Millen
Part of general manager Martin Mayhew's pitch to free agents this offseason has been immediate playing time.
When I talk to these free agents, I say this is the land of opportunity, Mayhew said. Everybody has a clean slate, everybody comes in and the best players play.
Center Dominic Raiola said he believes every player on the roster is on equal ground this offseason as the new coaching staff and front office try to identify who they can win with and who's worth keeping.
We'll see in the future but from what I see right now no favoritism, everybody's got a clean slate, nobody's getting babied, Raiola said. It's not like it was when Matt was here. Nobody's going to get babied.
And what does that mean?
You know, how it was in the past, I think there were different people on different pedestals, Raiola said. I think right now everybody's looked at the same. Nobody's going to be better than this guy because of what you're getting paid.
Over the weekend, the Lions traded defensive tackle Cory Redding, one of their highest-paid players and someone former general manager Matt Millen used the franchise tag on, to Seattle for (even higher-paid) linebacker Julian Peterson. They traded another bloated salary earlier this offseason in Jon Kitna, and released several other high-priced veterans including Leigh Bodden, Dwight Smith and Dan Campbell.
Raiola said he was impressed with new coach Jim Schwartz in his first team meeting Monday to kick off the offseason workout program.
It's a fresh start and I think that's what we needed, Raiola said.
Raiola also said the Lions have indicated, as president Tom Lewand said at the team's town-hall meeting in January, they would like to sign him to a contract extension. He said he doesn't "want to be anywhere else."
There's no numbers, they're just saying they want to get me done," Raiola said. "That's it. What they told you guys, that's what they told my agent."