In Minnesota, they’re spending bigly on big uglies.
With the offensive line a major weakness for the team in 2016, the Vikings allowed top-four draft pick Matt Kalil to walk away in free agency — and they plunked down huge money for a pair of starting tackles.
Reilly Reiff, most recently the right tackle in Detroit, becomes the presumptive left tackle in Minnesota, with a five-year, $58.75 million contract. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Reiff received an $11 million signing bonus, a fully-guaranteed base salary of $6.2 million in 2017, and a fully-guaranteed base salary of $9.1 million in 2018. That’s a full guarantee at signing of $26.3 million.
After 2018, the deal becomes a year-to-year proposition, with compensation of $9.5 million, $11 million, and $11.75 million in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Mike Remmers becomes the right tackle, with a five-year, $30 million contract that carries $10.5 million fully guaranteed at signing. With $3.1 million of his $3.9 million base salary in 2018 fully guaranteed at signing, it’s also a firm two-year deal and year-to-year thereafter.
The Vikings actually gave Reiff more than Kalil received in Carolina, a move that won’t upset many Vikings fans who had become exasperated with Kalil’s injuries and periodic ineffectiveness. The offensive line was more than periodically ineffective last year, due largely to injuries.
The ability of the team to thrive in 2017 hinges largely on the performance of the offensive line. With a relatively weak class of incoming blockers in the draft, the Vikings did what they had to do. We’ll see if it lets the team’s offense do what it needs to do to win games.