Vikings Denied Titans Offer for Key Offensive Lineman at Trade Deadline

Riley Reiff

Courtesy of Vikings Vikings veteran offensive lineman Riley Reiff was cut by the team on Wednesday.

The Vikings offensive line is beginning to look more formidable than faux.

The group has helped running back Dalvin Cook produce back-to-back 200-plus yard games that have catapulted Cook to two consecutive NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards.

The offensive line’s development this season has hinged on a few factors: the continuous growth of second-year center Garrett Bradbury and third-year tackle Brian O’Neill; the introduction of rookie Ezra Cleveland at right guard; and most importantly, the veteran experience of left tackle Riley Reiff who is putting together a hallmark season in his ninth year.

Reiff has yet to give up a sack through nine weeks and has allowed the fewest pressures in the league among tackles while committing just one penalty this season.

Reiff, who took a pay cut before the start of the season, is proving to be a valuable piece to the future of the Vikings offense and garnered attention across the league approaching the Nov. 3 trade deadline.

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Vikings Unwilling to Trade Reiff to Titans

Coming out of the bye week at 1-5, it seemed like the Vikings were headed to a tanking second-half of the season after trading away Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to clear cap space for the future and reinforce their draft stock.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Tennessee Titans, in need of a left tackle after Taylor Lewan suffered a season-ending torn ACL injury, explored a trade for Reiff. The Vikings and Titans were unable to strike a deal as it appears Reiff could remain a member of the Vikings for the foreseeable future. The details of the trade have not been disclosed, but the Vikings clearly were not offered enough considering the 2012 first-rounder’s value to the franchise.

Had Reiff been traded, the Vikings offensive line would have hit full development mode by thrusting either Cleveland or backup left tackle Rashod Hill into the left tackle position — a potentially cataclysmic move for the line.

Instead, Reiff and his fellow starters on the offensive front currently are the top run-blocking unit in the league through nine weeks and have improved in pass blocking, although they will need to continue to develop as the 25th-ranked pass-blocking unit.


 Fans File Riley Reiff Apology Forms

Reiff hasn’t always been a veteran anchor for the line. During the offseason, fans had called for his trade, release or restructuring of his contract that was inflated given his performance in 2019.

But throughout this season, fans have begun filling out “apology forms” on Twitter, checking the boxes for what reasons they had not given Reiff a chance and called for his sacrifice on the contract cutting board.

Reiff’s breakout 2020 season has coincided with his fellow linemen’s improvements as the group continues to strive to shift the culture of the offensive line of the Vikings franchise that hasn’t developed consistent Pro Bowl talent since Matt Birk in the early 2000s.

“When (Reiff) first came here, he changed the culture of the offensive line room…it really started with him when he first got here,” Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen said following Reiff’s pay cut.”

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