Former Viking Joins Bill Belichick and Patriots

Vikings Have Done What Against New England?!
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The New England Patriots finished 2022 with the NFL’s 11th-best offensive line grade(s) per Pro Football Focus, and Bill Belichick and Co. will fight to maintain or improve that standing for 2023.

New England also missed the playoffs last year, a circumstance that emphatically is not The Patriot Way.

Former Viking Joins Bill Belichick and Patriots

So, to improve this week inside the NFL’s free-agency period, the Patriots signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster from the Kansas City Chiefs and former Minnesota Vikings tackle Riley Reiff.

Viking Joins Bill
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ESPN’s Diana Russini reported Reiff to New England, “The Patriots are expected to sign OT Riley Reiff, per sources.”

Reiff spent 2022 with the Chicago Bears and the Cincinnati Bengals before that but played for the Vikings from 2017 to 2020. Reiff was, in fact, one of the bright spots on Minnesota’s offensive line in an otherwise naughty era via pass protection for the team, especially from 2018 to 2020.

Now, Reiff has a real chance to start at right tackle in New England as Isaiah Wynn is a free agent, and no true-blue starter exists on the depth chart. Reiff could be heading toward a summer cample battle with Calvin Anderson and Conor McDermott unless Belichick uses early-round draft capital on a right tackle.

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Here’s Reiff’s team-by-team resume to date:

  • Detroit Lions (2012-2016)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2017-2020)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (2021)
  • Chicago Bears (2022)
  • New England Patriots (2023)

Chad Graff, who covers the Patriots for The Athletic and held the same job covering the Vikings not long ago, tweeted Wednesday, “Players love Riley Reiff. He’s often been a captain. Mike Zimmer loved his toughness. Reiff once, when he thought he was about to be cut over a contract dispute, gave an impassioned speech to O-line teammates about how much they meant to him. Pats players will like him.”

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Reiff is a steady lineman, balancing run-blocking and pass-protection responsibilities throughout his career. In most seasons, he ends up with a PFF score in the 70s range, although he dipped to 64.3 in 2022 with the Bears.

He was a 1st-Round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Lions, granting him instant name recognition around the league. Reiff was selected by Detroit six picks before the Vikings landed Harrison Smith 10 years ago.

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The South Dakota native will turn 35 during the regular season. The Patriots played the Vikings in 2022, losing a thriller on Thanksgiving night, and won’t face Minnesota again in the regular season until 2026.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

.All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by