The KC Chiefs need a left tackle and Riley Reiff could make a lot of sense for them at the position.
In what appears to be the offseason of remaking the offensive line, the Kansas City Chiefs have young options along the interior of the line, and a young option on the right side. However, questions remain about what will happen on the left side, which is the spot vacated by Eric Fisher’s injury and subsequent release.
Will the Chiefs target a young offensive tackle in the draft or do they look towards free agency to address the position?
In free agency, there are some options though one can ask with the biggest one being — Is the price worth the return? While there are options out there, the best option is former Minnesota Vikings left tackle Riley Reiff. He’s certainly a name the Chiefs should be looking at and consider for the 2021 season.
We will start with the two reasons why I don’t think the Chiefs will target a left tackle prospect in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. That’s not to say they won’t look at an offensive lineman (Alabama center Landon Dickerson is mentioned with the Chiefs often and will likely be available with pick No. 31).
However, two reasons why I believe the Chiefs will address the tackle spot before the NFL Draft are as follows.
First — and it’s this simple — Do we really think the Chiefs are going to entrust a starting tackle spot to a rookie? I have serious doubts that would happen. That’s not to say the team won’t find a prospect elsewhere in the draft to develop and groom to take over that spot, but in 2021, I have a hard to imagine the Chiefs will go into the start of the season with the plan of a rookie starting at tackle. Along the interior maybe, but not at either tackle spot.
Secondly, how good is the rookie going to be available with the 31st pick? Yes, it’s a deep draft, but there are plenty of organizations looking for tackles and the draft is going to see a major run on offensive linemen early due to the different procedures involved with the pandemic.
Is the seventh offensive lineman on the board really good enough to be the guy at tackle for a team vying and wanting to compete for a Super Bowl? I don’t think so.
So let’s circle back to free agency. Perhaps the top offensive tackle on the market is considered to be Trent Williams, currently valued by Spotrac (and others) at close to $20 million per season. That won’t be happening here.
Who is a player the Chiefs can get better value on? That is why we circle back to Riley Reiff.
Riley Reiff would immediately upgrade the KC Chiefs’ o-line and he’d be a cheaper option than the big names floating around out there.
Reiff started 15 games last season for the Vikings and has started over 100 games in his career. The big question here is — What would the cost of Reiff be? Obviously, I don’t know for sure, but likely at a far lower cost than what Trent Williams would command.
The Chiefs could use a veteran tackle-type prospect on a two or three-year deal, allowing the team to move bigger salary numbers to the 2022 and perhaps the 2023 season.
Another reason Reiff makes sense in the long-term over other veterans such as Williams or even Alejandro Villanueva is that having been released by the Vikings, he doesn’t count against the league’s formula for compensatory picks, whereas both Williams and Villanueva would.
If the Chiefs are able to also bring back Mike Remmers, who was instrumental on the right side last year, a position group viewed on Feb. 8 as a disaster is all of a sudden good enough for the team to compete for the playoffs.
While Reiff isn’t a star, he’s a solid tackle free agent that could help, at least in the short-term, solidify the left side of the offensive line and allow the Chiefs to target skill position players earlier in the draft, perhaps targeting a linebacker, cornerback or even a receiver.
Again, Riley Reiff isn’t the sexiest name on the market, but he’d fill a position of need and has proven experience in the league. He’s a very good option for the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.