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Lions lock in Rashean Mathis with 2-year, $3.5M deal

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Few NFL players earn a raise after their age 34 season, but Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis played well enough in 2014 to earn a bump.

The Lions and Mathis agreed Wednesday to a two-year deal, according to his agent Doug Hendrickson.

The contract is worth up to $3.5 million and included a $750,000 signing bonus, according to National Football Post. Mathis' salary for each season is $1 million, but he can make an extra $500,000 in 2015 if he plays all 16 games. He also has a $500,000 roster bonus if he's on the team on the third day of the next league year.

Mathis, who turns 35 in August, played last year on a one-year deal worth just more than $1 million. In 2014, he started all 16 games and played well with 51 tackles, nine passes defensed and an interception he returned for a touchdown.

After the season, Mathis said he thinks he can play at least a couple more seasons.

"I'm Father Time right now," Mathis said in January. "People keeping throwing up this one-year thing. I think I've shown that I have more than a year left in my body."

The Lions, apparently, agree as they added a second year to his deal. Mathis also played on a one-year deal in 2013, his first season in Detroit after 10 in Jacksonville. Mathis considered retirement last offseason, but agreed to a deal with the Lions in April.

This year, the Lions didn't wait as long to bring back Mathis, who was a mentor to Darius Slay in his first two seasons. Unless the Lions draft a cornerback in the first round, Mathis and Slay will likely be the starters again next season.

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

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