Don’t get me wrong — Signing Reiff last offseason was a good move for the stripes. They had a strong need for a veteran offensive lineman and Reiff fit the bill. The Bengals even asked Reiff to play right tackle, which is something that he hadn’t done during the course of his professional career.
During his time with the Lions and Vikings, Reiff had played left tackle and he did a fine job on that side of the line. While Reiff was fine this past season, he certainly had his fair share of bad games.
For that reason, Gary Davenport of Bleacher Report thinks the Bengals should steer clear of bringing Reiff back to the Queen City.
Given the beating that Joe Burrow took in 2021, it might seem odd that the Cincinnati Bengals should part ways with a veteran offensive tackle with 139 starts to his credit.
But the reality is that Riley Reiff played a part in that beating Burrow took last year, and the first step in the offensive line makeover should be letting Reiff walk in free agency.
At 33, Reiff is well past his prime, and while he’s not a bad right tackle, he’s also not a great one—he allowed four sacks in just over 700 snaps last season. Durability is a concern, too—Reiff missed five games in 2022 and was sidelined for Cincinnati’s run to Super Bowl LVI.
Cincinnati Bengals need to move on from Riley Reiff
As mentioned above, Reiff had some rough days at the office. That certainly plays into why the team shouldn’t re-sign him but also, as Davenport alluded to, Reiff is on the wrong side of 30 now. He’s entering his age-33 season and the injuries at the end of the 2021 season are concerning. He missed a total of nine games (including the postseason) and that injury might make it tough for Reiff to be a starting-caliber tackle again.
Bringing Reiff in last year was a solid move for a young Bengals team but now it’s time to use the money they have on better options on the offensive line. Reiff was a bandaid for the o-line problems, but now it’s time to find a more long-term solution.