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Report: Vikings looking to rework Riley Reiff’s contract

In order to keep him at the left tackle spot

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With just a little over a week to go before free agency really gets underway in the National Football League, your Minnesota Vikings are looking for ways to increase the amount of salary cap space that they’ll have available to make improvements to the roster. One of the places that it appears they’re looking is to the offensive line.

According to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Vikings are going to attempt to restructure the contract of left tackle Riley Reiff in the hopes that they can keep him around at the left tackle spot.

This isn’t the first time that the Vikings have asked Reiff to re-do his contract. Prior to the start of training camp, the two sides came to an agreement on a restructured deal that saw Reiff take a $5 million pay cut in return for a greater base salary. A couple of weeks ago, the Vikings allowed Reiff to collect a $1 million bonus that also came about as a part of that restructure, as it was based on a playing time incentive that he would have reached has he not sat out the regular season finale due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Reiff isn’t a big name by any stretch, but he had a very good season for the Vikings at left tackle last year. Keeping him in the fold at left tackle would allow Brian O’Neill to stay on the right side and, presumably, keep Ezra Cleveland. . .who we all assumed was drafted last year to take over for Reiff whenever the opportunity arose. . .at right guard, where he played for most of the second half of his rookie campaign.

If the Vikings and Reiff can’t come to an agreement, the team will likely have to release him. Such a move would free up nearly $12 million in salary cap space (with a dead money hit of over $3 million), but would leave the Vikings with a pretty significant hole at a position where they really can’t afford to have one.

We’ll have to see what the Vikings and Riley Reiff can work out over the next week or so here. The eternal rebuilding project that the Vikings’ offensive line has turned into in recent years would suffer a pretty significant setback if Reiff isn’t back, in my opinion.