Former Lion Riley Reiff makes list of top remaining NFL free agents
On a list of the best available NFL free agents, former Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff (shockingly?) made the cut.
As the calendar gets ready to flip to June, some notable names remain available in NFL free agency. There are headliners like Odell Beckham Jr., and more underappreciated talents like Akiem Hicks lingering out there. It’s hard to necessarily say a wave of signings is coming, but with some post-June 1 cuts to come some other recognizable names could be looking for jobs.
Expectations were certainly pretty high for Riley Reiff when the Detroit Lions drafted him 23rd overall out of the University of Iowa in 2012. He became a solid left tackle and then right tackle (2016), starting 69 games over five seasons as a Lion.
Reiff signed a five-year deal, $58.75 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, and maintained his status as a solid player back at left tackle over four seasons there (58 games, 58 starts).
Instead of taking another paycut from the Vikings, Reiff was cut and landed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021. He ended the season on IR for the eventual AFC champions, starting all 12 regular season games he played at right tackle, and now he’s a free agent again.
Riley Reiff cracks list of top remaining NFL free agents
CBS Sports put together a list of the top-10 remaining NFL free agents on May 20. There at No. 10, pretty surprisingly in a broad sense, is Reiff.
"After spending four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Reiff inked a one-year deal to join the Bengals last offseason. He started all 12 games for Cincinnati at right tackle last season before being placed on injured reserve in mid-December and missed the club’s run to Super Bowl LVI. According to Pro Football Focus, Reiff had a 96.8 pass blocking efficiency rating, allowing 21 total pressures and four sacks."
Vito Chirico of SI.com stated a bit of a case for the Lions to bring Reiff back as a backup in a “pros and cons”-style piece. It would indeed be rooted in how much money he wants, all but surely only on a one-year deal after getting $7.5 million in his one-year pact with Cincinnati.
Reiff seems to still be a starting-caliber tackle, and the Lions don’t have a starting job available at either of the tackle spots without injury. During his time in Minnesota speculation occasionally surfaced about kicking him in to a guard spot, but that never happened.
Assuming he can check out medically after that season-ending ankle injury, the market for Reiff could ramp up soon. A Lions-Reiff reunion is unlikely, but not totally out of the question.