EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Wednesday announced they have released Riley Reiff.
The 32-year-old played 58 regular-season games in Purple over four seasons, starting all of them at left tackle.
Reiff was a 2012 first-round pick of Detroit and spent the first five seasons of his career with the Lions.
But he signed with the Vikings as a free agent in March of 2017, providing stability, toughness and leadership at a key spot along Minnesota's offensive line.
Reiff, who grew up in Parkston, South Dakota, was a team captain in all four seasons with the Vikings.
"I love the kid. He's a tough, physical guy," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said of Reiff at the end of the 2020 season. "He's a pro's pro. Comes out and works every single day. He's had a really good year. He's a big-time battler; he'll fight you all day long, so he's really everything you want in an offensive lineman."
Reiff's release helps the Vikings navigate a reduced salary cap but also means Minnesota is now looking for a new left tackle.
Ezra Cleveland is a possibility at that spot. He spent two seasons at left tackle at Boise State before starting nine games at right guard as a rookie in 2020. Minnesota also could address that position in free agency or the draft.
Reiff played in 15 games during the 2017, 2019 and 2020 seasons and started 13 contests in 2018. He also started in four playoff games with the Vikings.
Reiff was one of the most well-respected players in the Vikings locker room and was a mentor for younger players.
"Riley hits the weight room hard every day," Cleveland, who was a rookie in 2020, said in December. "He shows up and works and puts his heart and soul into his work. It's just a great thing to see [from] a guy in his ninth year.
"He's been [in the NFL] so long and he still shows up to work and works his hardest and doesn't whine or cry or anything. He just puts his nose down and goes to work," Cleveland added. "That's one thing I really try to model my game after – I try to stay quiet and do the work. It's just cool to see a vet doing that as well."
Reiff was also known to give back to the Twin Cities, especially during the holidays.
He helped organize an annual turkey giveaway around Thanksgiving and also surprised underprivileged families with holiday gifts in December of 2019.