Trading Riley Reiff is something the Vikings absolutely need to do

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Reiff
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Riley Reiff /

The Minnesota Vikings could get a lucrative return package in exchange for their left tackle.

Back in 2017 when the Minnesota Vikings were looking to improve a consistently bad offensive line, they turned to free agency and decided to sign former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff.

Reiff stepped in as the Vikings starting left tackle and he delivered a solid performance during his first season with the team. Things didn’t go as well in 2018 and 2019, but this year, he’s back to being a reliable blocker for Minnesota.

With the Vikings’ poor start to the current season and their recent decision to trade Yannick Ngakoue, looking to see what they can get in a deal for Reiff is definitely something they should be exploring before this year’s trade deadline.

Trading Riley Reiff should be a priority for the Minnesota Vikings right now

Since his career in the NFL began in 2012, Rieff has never been voted to a Pro Bowl or earned a First-Team All-Pro selection. However, that isn’t necessarily a deciding factor for teams currently looking for offensive line help.

There are a number of teams around the league right now that could be interested in a trade for Reiff including the Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, and Dallas Cowboys.

Depending on how desperate any of these teams are to upgrade their starting left tackle, it’s possible that Minnesota could receive a third or even a second-round draft pick in exchange for Reiff. If this is an offer presented to the Vikings before this season’s trade deadline, agreeing to a deal should be an extremely easy decision to make.

Despite Reiff playing well this year, he’s probably a goner in 2021. The Minnesota left tackle has a $13.95 million cap hit next season and that’s money the team could use to help reconstruct their roster next year. So before the Vikings end up cutting Reiff in 2021 to free up cap space, they should be making an attempt to see what they can get in a trade for him before this year’s deadline.

If Minnesota does end up dealing the left tackle in the near future, who would they pick to replace him in their starting lineup for the rest of the season?

The Vikings have a few options, but the top two would likely be to either have rookie Ezra Cleveland line up as their starting left tackle or move right tackle Brian O’Neill to the left side and have someone else take his spot on the right side of the line.

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Minnesota’s decision to trade Ngakoue on Thursday seemed to signify that the team is already looking ahead to 2021. If this truly is the case, then they should be working day and night to move Reiff in order to give some valuable reps to other offensive linemen who could potentially be their starting left tackle next season.