Analyst: Riley Reiff a ‘valuable commodity’ ahead of trade deadline
When the Chicago Bears signed offensive lineman Riley Reiff the day before training camp begun, they likely believed he would compete for a job as a starting tackle.
However, the 6-foot-6, 309-pound lineman has been kept on the bench thanks to the rise of rookie fifth-rounder Braxton Jones out of Southern Utah and the steady play of 23-year-old second-year tackle Larry Borom.
And with Teven Jenkins, Lucas Patrick and Alex Leatherwood in the rotation of starting/reserve offensive linemen, Reiff appears to be the odd man out. But one NFL analyst believes the Bears could turn their position of strength into potential draft capital.
In his latest column, Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus suggests the Bears dangle Reiff and his one-year contract on the trade market and see which team bites.
“Reiff signed an incentive-laden contract with the Bears that doesn’t pay much unless he actually plays, and he is now firmly cemented as the swing tackle behind rookie left tackle Braxton Jones and second-round right tackle Larry Borom,” Spielberger said.
“Reiff logged at least 700 snaps and earned grades of at least 64.0 in every season since 2013, starting full-time at right tackle in 2021 for the Cincinnati Bengals after four years on the blindside with the Minnesota Vikings. He’s a reliable, above-average starting tackle in the NFL — a very valuable commodity, especially with the injury issues all over the league.”
Reiff’s base salary is just $3 million, but the 33-year-old will miss out on plenty of incentives unless he’s on the field. He can earn an extra $4.5 million for playing 10 percent of his team’s offensive snaps, an extra $2.5 million for meeting specific playing time criteria and he has a $2 million playoff bonus.
PFF lists the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Chargers as potential suitors.