Veteran left tackle Riley Reiff began the process of restructuring his deal Tuesday so he can stay in Minnesota, helping the Vikings avoided a major shake-up late in the preseason with their offensive line, a league source told ESPN’s Field Yates.
Terms of the restructure have not been released, but it will create ample salary cap space for the Vikings, who had less than $1 million to work with after signing defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to a one-year deal worth $12 million upon executing a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the recently franchised Pro Bowler, who took nearly a $6 million dollar pay cut to join Minnesota’s defense.
According to league sources, early this week the Vikings asked Reiff, who was set to earn $10.9 million in 2020, to agree to a restructured contract or he would be released. The 31-year-old tackle was given the day to consider his options and did not practice on Monday.nfl nike jerseys for cheap
Reiff spent the first five years of his career with Detroit after the Lions drafted him 23rd overall in 2012. He then signed a five-year, $58.75 million deal with the Vikings as a free agent in 2017, when he made the move from right to left tackle. In three seasons with Minnesota, Reiff started 43 games at left tackle and made $36 million.
The Vikings drafted left tackle Ezra Cleveland in the second round in April, but the rookie has only taken snaps at left guard with the second- and third-team offenses throughout training camp.
Minnesota’s offensive line ranked 23rd in 2019 in Pass Block Win Rate (the ability to sustain blocks for 2.5 seconds), according to ESPN Stats and Information. Pro Football Focus had Reiff 38th of 57, 23rd of 62 and 26th of 60 qualifying tackles throughout his three years in Minnesota. As a top-15 paid left tackle, Reiff allowed 25 pressures, gave up five sacks and committed eight penalties in 2019.nfl nike jerseys cheap china
The subject of moving Reiff inside to left guard, where he started seven games as a redshirt freshman at Iowa in 2009, was a topic of conversation inside the organization during the last two offseasons. Reiff told reporters in August that he hadn’t been approached by Minnesota about moving positions but that he would “play whatever as long as it helps the team.”
The Vikings attempted to upgrade the left tackle position during this year’s draft and were in heavy pursuit of Trent Williams before the Pro Bowler was traded to San Francisco.
A source told ESPN that the Vikings had been among the preferred destinations for Williams and that the teams had discussed a deal for more than a month. The teams did not come close to executing a trade until the second day of the draft when Minnesota increased its offer to include a second Day 3 draft pick, sources said, after previously offering one pick on the third day.
Minnesota ended up drafting Cleveland 58th overall with many anticipating that he will eventually take over for Reiff, who had two years left on his contract.