The Patriots continue adding depth at offensive tackle, a significant position of need this offseason, by reportedly signing veteran Riley Reiff, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini.
Reiff is an 11-year veteran who has made 149 career starts at both tackle spots. Most recently, the 34-year-old started ten games for the Bears at right tackle last season, allowing three sacks and 18 total pressures on 293 pass-blocking snaps. Reiff has been a steady starter throughout his career with the Lions, Vikings, Bengals, and last season in Chicago.
Adding Reiff comes on the heels of the Patriots reportedly signing developmental tackle Calvin Anderson, tendering 2019 third-rounder Yodny Cajuste at an original-round RFA contract, and re-signing vet Conor McDermott. Along with Trent Brown, the Pats are building out their depth potentially in anticipation of drafting a tackle early in April.
As for Reiff, he is best described as a solid and dependable pro who best fits on the right side for New England. Reiff's calling cards are his physicality, power in the running game, and balance and body control to anchor against power rushers in pass protection. A former first-round pick who started three seasons at Iowa, Reiff entered the league as a high-floor prospect due to his technical refinement and has been just that throughout his career.
The veteran has been battle-tested throughout his career with NFL-style competitiveness and a sound understanding of offensive line intricacies (leverage, hand usage, blocking fits, etc.).
With New England adding upside (Anderson) and a potential short-term starter (Reiff) through free agency, the Patriots should still be in the market for high-end talent at offensive tackle while hopefully finding a long-term answer for at least one tackle spot in the draft.
The Patriots can now go into April's draft feeling better about their offensive tackle depth, which was shaky during the 2022 season.