Although one would never guess by checking in on Twitter, the Vikings are making progress in free agency. Plenty of whining from fans can still be heard for losing out on free agency’s top tier tackles, yet progress is still being made.
By signing offensive tackles, Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, in the early stages of free agency, Minnesota is making an effort to create greater protection around quarterback, Sam Bradford. Are the newest Vikings considered the top of the free agent class; absolutely not. They are, however, definitively better than what they had on the roster just a few days ago.
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Reiff’s versatility and durability are two of the greatest assets that Vikings’ general manager, Rick Spielman, must have seen immediately. While Reiff most recently played the entire 2016 season at right tackle for the Detroit Lions — starting 14 of them — most expect him to slide back over to the left side in Minnesota.
According to spotrac.com, the contract for Reiff is worth nearly $59 million, with just over $26 million guaranteed. For what it is worth, the five-year contract is slightly larger than the contract Matt Kalil received from the Carolina Panthers. Since the Vikings were in an obvious need to upgrade the offensive line, they needed someone, even if they had to shell out the pretty penny for them.
Remmers may not be as versatile as Reiff, but has started every game for the Panthers since 2015. According to Ian Rapoport, the veteran tackle agreed to a five-year deal worth $30 million.
Remmers is far from polished as many may remember from his infamous Super Bowl 50 performance, in which Cam Newton was under siege for much of the evening. To be fair, most right tackles are overmatched when facing Von Miller.
This is will be Remmers’ second stint with the Vikings as he was briefly picked up off of waivers, late in the 2013 season. With Remmers coming in strictly as a right tackle, Reiff will presumably replace Matt Kalil at the left tackle position.
Do the moves make the Vikings offensive line one of the most feared in all of the NFL? Resoundingly, no; but they do provide Minnesota with a much needed upgrade to one of the worst offensive front fives in 2016.