According to Chad Graff, the Minnesota Vikings have approached LT Riley Reiff about restructuring his contract. If he refuses, the Vikings will likely cut him. After trading for Yannick Ngakoue, the Vikings have a little more than $1 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap.
Riley Reiff Contract
Losing Reiff would be a significant blow for the Vikings. He provides steady, solid play and is a veteran leader who helps Minnesota’s young linemen. Graff reports that recent practices have featured Brian O’Neill at LT and Oli Udoh at RT. An O’Neill/Udoh combo has a high ceiling and a low floor, meaning that any range of outcomes are possible.
Pro Football Talk is reporting that Reiff has told teammates that he’ll likely be cut. As PFT notes, cutting Reiff saves the Vikings close to $9 million in cap space, leaving them with around $10 million for the upcoming season. They can either roll this money into next season’s cap or make another move.
In our opinion, the Vikings would be wise to do everything possible to keep Reiff. They simply aren’t in a position to get cute on the offensive line. It’s true that Riley Reiff has a big contract — one that pays him too much — but the Vikings really need steady play on their OL.
O’Neill has tons of potential, but moving him to the left side won’t necessarily work. The Vikings can be confident that O’Neill is a great option at RT because he’s played two years there. The footwork is different on the left side, so it’s entirely plausible that he’ll struggle with the transition. Furthermore, Udoh may end up being a great tackle, but it’s so difficult to tell at this stage. Rashod Hill and Ezra Cleveland are also options. That being said, they present their own questions.
Cutting Reiff means they not only have a lot of faith in their young tackles, but also in Gary Kubiak and Kirk Cousins to help with the protection. To compete in 2020, the safest option is to keep Reiff.