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Lions pick up fifth-year option on Riley Reiff

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Riley Reiff

Allen Park – Riley Reiff will be back with the Lions, but it's unclear at which tackle spot.

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said during a news conference Friday advancing next week's NFL draft that the organization has decided to pick up Reiff's fifth-year option.

Mayhew said the paperwork has not been finalized, but Reiff will now be with the Lions through 2016. The option is worth just more than $8 million.

"We're definitely going to do his fifth-year option, have him for a fifth year," Mayhew said. We're getting that paperwork done sometime soon."

Reiff has started at left tackle in all but one game the last two seasons.

Last offseason the Lions declined a $5.5 million fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley and Fairley left in March, signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the Rams.

Mayhew, in discussing whether the Lions will draft an offensive lineman, said Reiff can play either left or right tackle. The Lions select at No. 23, and Mayhew said the draft is deep for offensive linemen, particularly at guard and tackle.

"A lot of quality," Mayhew said. "A lot of different guys, guys with position flexibility, which we like."

But Mayhew praised Reiff for his work at left tackle.

"I think Riley Reiff is a heck of a left tackle," Mayhew said. "He can play multiple positions. I feel very comfortable with him at left tackle or at right tackle. I know there's a lot of debate about where he is and where he's going to be. I'm comfortable with him at left tackle, and I feel good about that.

"I don't think that anything is set in April or in May as to what we're going to be doing in September. We'll take the best player available and if it happens to be an offensive linemen, we'll continue to taking the best players, and maybe the player we take later, all of a sudden that guy we took in the first round is playing a different position. So we'll see how that plays out."