On Wednesday, news broke that the New England Patriots plan on signing veteran offensive tackle Riley Reiff to a one year contract. This is a good move.
The first two external free agent signings for the Pats have been two tackles, which are positions of need for the team. They haven’t been great names, but one that broke on Tuesday was the team signing left and right tackle Riley Reiff.
Reiff was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He began his career as a left tackle and has played left tackle for the majority of his career. However, he has played right tackle over the last two seasons and also played right tackle back in 2016.
This is a significant piece of information. Reiff has played in 163 regular season games during his career and in all honestly, is solid. Sure he’s probably lost a step being that he’s in his mid-30s, but he does satisfy a position of need.
The Pats needed some veteran additions at tackle, and Reiff provides that. He could easily start for the Patriots on either side of the offensive line and may also be very crucial for a potential rookie draft pick if the Pats go that route.
Besides Reiff, the team also signed Calvin Anderson who has also played both tackle positions. Both players at this point are spot starters/swing tackles, but again, that is a position the Pats needed to fill.
Going forward, I’d think that the team would target a tackle or two in the 2023 NFL Draft. I don’t see a scenario now where they spend anything more than a few million on the tackle position. They did not make a big splash for the top tackles in free agency, but I suppose they could still make a run at Orlando Brown Jr.
Pairing Riley Reiff with a rookie draft pick is a clear succession plan and one that could easily work for the team.