The Cincinnati Bengals had free-agent center Austin Reiter in for a visit on Monday and Bengals fans were hoping that no news was good news. Unfortunately, Reiter is continuing to visit other teams, including the Texans, who he’s scheduled to visit next per Ian Rapoport.
Bengals fans were excited at the news of Reiter coming to town for a visit because it showed the team was serious about fixing their offensive line issues. Now, however, it doesn’t appear the team will be reaching a deal with Reiter or if they do, it’ll have to wait until after he’s finished visiting with the Texans.
Reiter, who played the past three seasons for the Chiefs, had 32 starts under his belt at center during his time there (42 total games played in). He was the starting center in their Super Bowl LIV win during the 2019 season, so he’s used to playing in big games.
The Cincinnati Bengals might not be signing Austin Reiter.
With the news of Trey Hopkins being cleared to practice, this might have taken the Bengals out of the Reiter sweepstakes, as Hopkins is their clear-cut center otherwise. Hopkins has 52 starts on his NFL resumé and is one of the undrafted wonders on this team.
It made sense to heavily pursue Reiter with Hopkins potentially unable to go in Week 1, but now that he’s healthy, perhaps the Bengals are no longer interested in adding another center. They have other options as backups (Billy Price and Trey Hill) and that could be their game plan moving forward is to rely on one of those guys should Hopkins get injured.
Personally, my belief is the more depth, the better and the Bengals should definitely have that same mindset considering how bad this offensive line has been. Reiter isn’t a superstar but he’s a proven winner and knows what it takes to be a starting center in the NFL. This would have been a great late offseason addition for Cincinnati but now they might have sealed the deal as far as a deal with Reiter is concerned.