The Bears have addressed their offensive line for the second consecutive day, announcing that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent offensive tackle Riley Reiff. The deal is for one year and worth up to $12.5 million, with $10 million likely to be earned, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former Bengals’ OT Riley Reiff reached agreement today on a one-year deal worth up to $12.5 million, with $10 million likely to be earned, with the Chicago Bears, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 26, 2022
A 10-year veteran, Reiff spent last season with the Bengals after a four-year stint with the Vikings. He’s a better run blocker than he is at protecting the quarterback, and he’ll join veterans Larry Borom, Teven Jenkins, and rookie Braxton Jones in the competition for the two starting tackle jobs.
Reiff was a first-round selection of the Lions in 2012 and played five seasons in Detroit.
The move comes less than a week after Bears guard Dakota Dozier underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. He is out for the season.
Chicago Tribune columnist Brad Biggs tweeted that offensive lineman Willie Wright and defensive back Allie Green were released, presumably the corresponding moves to acquiring Reiff and Michael Schofield, who agreed to terms with the Bears yesterday.
The two signings provide significant depth to a position that had been decimated by attrition and injuries. Before the two additions, Wright was lightly penciled in as the starter after Dozier went down. Lucas Patrick will start at center and Cody Whitehair is the team’s left guard. It’s probably safe to count on Schofield to be the starter at right guard.
Reiff is a solid tackle who has posted some good seasons during his time in the league. That said, the Bengals’ offensive line was generally considered one of the team’s biggest weaknesses in their run to last year’s Super Bowl. He’s not remarkable by any means but earns high marks for consistency and his ability to play either tackle position. He’s coming off an ankle injury that prematurely ended his 2021 season, but by all reports, Reiff is healthy now. He’s already listed as the starter at right tackle on the current depth chart, with Borom and Jenkins behind him.
There is now plenty of competition for roster spots as training camp gets underway. After adding Patrick in free agency, Poles selected four offensive linemen in the draft—Jones, tackle Zachary Thomas, and center Doug Kramer in the sixth round and guard Ja’Tyre Carter in the seventh. GM Ryan Poles admitted last week that he wanted the rookies to push the veterans for playing time.
“It’s human nature to relax when you feel there’s no threat to your job, so I want these young guys to come in and compete for jobs, the first-year GM said. “That’s going to lift everyone in that entire room to know that they’ve got to compete and be their best self to make the team, as well as to make the starting line.”