Vikings News: Minnesota parts ways with veteran tackle Riley Reiff

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

The Minnesota Vikings will have a new starting left tackle for the first time since 2016 after deciding to release Riley Reiff on Wednesday.

Heading into the current offseason, one of the biggest questions surrounding the Minnesota Vikings had to do with the future of left tackle Riley Reiff.

On Wednesday, the Vikings made a decision about Reiff’s future and ended up releasing the veteran offensive tackle after four seasons with the franchise.

With the move, Minnesota will have a new starting left tackle in 2021 for the first time since the 2016 season. Who exactly that will be is something they will have to figure out during the next few months.

Why did the Minnesota Vikings release Riley Reiff?

The news of Reiff’s departure on a Wednesday was actually a bit of a shock since it was recently reported that the Vikings had been attempting to restructure his contract to keep him on the roster for next season.

Obviously, the two sides were unable to agree on any sort of new deal, so Minnesota felt that releasing their starting left tackle was the best decision to make.

Reiff’s departure is a positive for the Vikings’ current salary cap situation. Minnesota is no longer in the red and they now have a little over $8 million free to spend this offseason.

As surprising as this decision ended up being, maybe it’s something we should have anticipated more with the NFL officially setting the 2021 salary cap at $182.5 million on Wednesday. Minnesota might have been hoping for the final number to be higher and Reiff’s release could certainly be a result of the 2021 cap number being set at a lower value than they were expecting.

The Vikings have a number of paths they can take to find a new starting left tackle before next season. Minnesota can turn to someone from their current roster, sign a free agent, or use one of their 2021 draft selections. What they choose to do will be something that every Vikings fan will be keeping a very close eye on.