On the day veterans reported to training camp, the Chicago Bears made one of their biggest free agent acquisitions of the year.
The Bears are set to sign former Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals starting offensive lineman Riley Reiff, as first reported by NFL insider Adam Schefter. Bears general manager Ryan Poles’ confirmed the signing in a press conference moments later. Per Schefter, Reiff’s is signing a one-year deal “worth up to $12.5 million, with $10 million” likely guaranteed.
A first-round pick (23rd overall) for the Lions in 2012, Reiff spent his first five seasons in Detroit, starting 69 games, before heading to Minnesota in 2017. He played for the Vikings for four years, starting 58 games over that span. He headed to Cincinnati last year, spending a lone season with the Bengals and now, he’ll be the favorite to start at right tackle, although the team hasn’t confirmed which position he’ll be playing.
The signing of Reiff comes just a day after the team inked veteran OL Michael Schofield to a one-year contract, so after not addressing the O-line for several months, Poles and company have added two very durable veterans to the mix.
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Reiff: Background & Stats
Reiff, 33, has been a durable presence in the league since getting drafted in 2012. He has never missed more than five games in a season in his 10 years in the NFL. An ankle injury landed him on IR last season, but he played well in the 12 games he started.
While he has predominantly played left tackle over his career, Reiff earned an overall grade of 67.3 from Pro Football Focus playing right tackle in 2021. In 711 total snaps played at RT, Reiff allowed 21 total pressures, three QB hits and four sacks, per PFF. He was also flagged just once last year, and he has been penalized just twice over his last 27 starts.
The 6-foot-5, 313-pound Reiff is a solid pickup for the Bears. He’s versatile, having played over 6,900 snaps at LT and 1,599 snaps at RT. He has 139 career starts and has generally been good at both run blocking and pass protection.
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Bears’ New OL Signings Will Add Competition, Depth
With the recent additions of Schofield and Reiff, Chicago has added a decent amount of experience that will not only improve the offensive line, but both vets should give the team’s younger players some valuable insight as well as some extra time to develop.
“We’re in a much better spot with those guys on our roster than we were 24 hours ago,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said about the team’s recent signings, per Josh Schrock of NBC Sports.
Reiff will likely be the team’s starting LT, and Schofield is the favorite to be starting RG, which will give younger players like Sam Mustipher, Teven Jenkins and Braxton Jones more time to learn and grow into their roles. That’s still up in the air, however, but with the team’s first practice scheduled for July 27, we’ll know soon enough how its newest acquisitions will be lining up.