The New England Patriots made some solid moves this offseason, but one of them sticks out to me as being incredibly underrated. The Patriots had some places they needed to improve on in the offseason, and I think they did that.
They needed better coaching, so they hired Bill O'Brien to be the offensive coordinator. They needed better play from tackle, so they signed Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson. They needed better play in the secondary, so they drafted Christian Gonzalez in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
However, I think one move flew under the radar, at least in terms of the national media landscape, and I personally believe that move was signing veteran tackle Riley Reiff, who I think will have a huge role along the offensive line this year.
Reiff, 35 in December, was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and has started 149 games in the regular season in the NFL. He began his career with the Detroit Lions. He then had stops with the Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, and Chicago Bears.
He's played both left and right tackle in the NFL and has played both at an adequate level, which is very rare in the NFL, in my opinion.
Firstly, his ability to play both tackle spots may come in huge handy, especially with the uncertainty of Trent Brown and how he'll perform at left tackle if he's kept there.
Secondly, I think Reiff's overall experience is going to come in very handy as well. He's truly seen in all in the NFL as a tackle. He's gone up against some of the best EDGE rushers of this generation and has stuck around for over a decade. If nothing else, he'll surely be able to provide some of his wisdom from his 163 regular season games of experience.
Just because a free agent signing doesn't make the main headlines, doesn't mean it isn't useful. I think Reiff will prove that in 2023.