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NFL free agency 2023: Patriots are paying offensive tackle Riley Reiff like a potential starter

The veteran offensive tackle was signed to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are spending the early portions of free agency trying to fix their offensive tackle position. After re-signing Conor McDermott in February, they already added Calvin Anderson and Reilly Reiff via the open market and extended a third-round tender for restricted free agent Yodny Cajuste.

Who will or will not end up on the 53-man roster come September remains to be seen. Riley Reiff, however, appears to be a rather safe bet when judged by the details of his contract (as shared by KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson with an assist from Miguel Benzan).

Riley Reiff: Contract details

Base salary: $1.45 million (fully guaranteed)
Signing bonus: $2.7 million
Roster bonus: $750,000
Offseason workout bonus: $100,000
Incentives: $4 million
Salary cap hit: $5 million

Despite his relatively advanced age, the Patriots are apparently expecting the 34-year-old to be right there in the mix for a starter-level role at either left or right tackle this upcoming season. They gave him $4.15 million in guarantees — his entire salary and signing bonus — and also added $4 million in incentives to push the deal’s maximum value from $5 million to $9 million.

At the moment, Reiff carries the 12th-highest salary cap hit on the Patriots’ roster. While that alone does not guarantee him a spot on the team, let alone the starting lineup, it appears the team’s intentions are clear: have him as a potential stop-gap option, with the goal of adding more talent and long-term stability through the draft.

Whether or not the rest of the offseason will unfold like this remains to be seen. Based on what we know right now, however, it is safe to assume that Reiff is in New England’s plans for this upcoming season.


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