Lions say so-long to Riley Reiff, Larry Warford

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

Allen Park – The right side of the Detroit Lions’ offensive line will look completely different next season, following the departures of long-time starters Riley Reiff and Larry Warford in free agency Thursday. Warford is heading to New Orleans, while Reiff will be part of Minnesota’s revamped offensive line.

Reiff, the organization’s first-round pick in 2012, started three years at left tackle, replacing Jeff Backus, before moving to the right side last year to make room for rookie Taylor Decker.

The Lions opted to go a different direction at right tackle in free agency, agreeing to a long-term deal with Baltimore's Ricky Wagner, the consensus top player at the position on the market.

The highly durable Reiff missed just three regular-season games during his time in Detroit, but was sidelined by a hip injury for last season’s finale and the team’s playoff loss to Seattle.

Warford, a third-round pick in 2013, was a starter at right guard from day one for the Lions. Despite dealing with some minor injuries the past few seasons, he started 57 games and was often viewed as the team’s most consistent lineman.

It was a good day to be a free agent guard in the NFL this week. Kevin Zeitler agreed to the richest contract ever given out at the position — a five-year, $60 million pact from the Browns. Ronald Leary (Broncos) and Joel Bitonio (Browns) also secured massive long-term deals, each averaging around $8 million per season.

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