The Minnesota Vikings eliminated with their cap deficit on Wednesday after releasing veteran left tackle Riley Reiff, the team reported.
Reiff turned into the first domino to fall to the Vikings this offseason, and his release will permit the team more financial flexibility to follow unrestricted free agents. The left tackle was expected a $5 million roster bonus on March 19, which was haggled into his contract upon his consenting to a restructured deal last September. His release opens up $11.75 million in cap space to put Minnesota $8,730,584 under the cap.
The 32-year-old tackle took a $5 million pay cut after Minnesota acquired defensive end Yannick Ngakoue through an trade at the end of the 2020 preseason. At that point, the obtaining left the Vikings with under $1 million in cap space. Reiff, who had a $10.9 million compensation in 2020 that accompanied a $13.2 million cap hit, was drawn nearer with a suggestion to rebuild his contract, which brought his cap run after to $8.2 million and acquired him a base salary of $5.9 million.
The Vikings intended to keep Reiff in the overlap with an expansion that would bring down his $13.95 million cap hit for 2021. All things considered, the tackle will hit the open market one day after two hostile handles, Cam Robinson and Taylor Moton, were both given an franchise tag that will pay them $14 million this season.
Reiff, a previous first-round pick, was drafted by Detroit in 2012 and endorsed with Minnesota as a free specialist in 2017, changing from option to left handle all the while. He began 62 games for the Vikings and permitted 12 sacks more than four seasons.
“I thought Riley played very consistent last year, had probably one of his best years here, and for him he’s just so smart, so competitive, and he’s really learned over the years how to play very efficient, and he was definitely one of our most consistent offensive linemen last year,” general manager Rick Spielman said last week
Reiff’s release makes an opening for Minnesota at left tackle. Last April, the Vikings drafted Ezra Cleveland with the 58th generally speaking pick from Boise State, where he played three seasons at left tackle. Subsequent to spending the preseason as the second-group left watchman, Cleveland moved to right monitor and began nine games.
Regardless of whether Cleveland is moved to left handle for the 2021 season “depends on what happens over these next couple months on who’s here and who’s not here,” Spielman said a week ago. Minnesota could likewise consider moving right tackle Brian O’Neill to left handle and supplanting him with Cleveland. Augmentation talks are required to start for O’Neill, a 2018 second-round pick, in the coming a very long time in front of his fourth season with Minnesota.
The Vikings were eighteenth in pass block win rate, as indicated by ESPN Stats and Information, and permitted 39 sacks last season. While Minnesota means to address a few necessities on edge side of the ball, improving its pass insurance in all out attack mode line is basic this offseason.
“I think you’re always going to look to improve that area,” coach Mike Zimmer said at the end of the season. ‘There’s no area that we don’t want to look to improve … I do like that group. The continuity that they have, the communications that they have. I like that group but we’ll have to see and if we can improve we’ll improve.”
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