Riley Reiff, who started 10 games at right tackle for Chicago last season, was a key offseason signing for the New England. Steven Senne/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In free agency, the Patriots turned to Riley Reiff to address one of their most glaring roster holes at offensive tackle.

Entering his 12th NFL season, Reiff turned to New England for a surprising reason: a ring.

The 34-year-old veteran said Tuesday a championship is what keeps him motivated at this late stage of his career. Two years ago, Reiff came close to a title with the Bengals after an ankle injury sidelined him for the end of Cincinnati’s Super Bowl run. But instead of joining his teammates on the sideline for an eventual 23-20 loss to the Rams in Super Bowl LVI, he was stuck in the stands.

“I was there – up in the press box,” he told reporters. “Not a nice press box, either.”

That year, Reiff started 12 games at right tackle — a position he may soon play with the Patriots. Prior to playing in Cincinnati, he was the Vikings’ left tackle from 2017-2020. That stint followed a five-year run with the Lions, when he played both tackle positions after Detroit selected him in the first round of the 2012 draft.

Last season, Reiff started 10 games for the Bears as an injury replacement at right tackle.


Reiff’s transition to New England has been helped by a few familiar faces, including backup offensive lineman James Ferentz. The two were college roommates at Iowa, and have remained close. While Ferentz’s future with the Patriots is in doubt after the front office drafted three interior offensive linemen last month, Reiff’s contract should guarantee at least a swing tackle job for him this season.

The Pats inked Reiff to a one-year, $5 million contract with $4.15 million guaranteed. They also signed former Broncos offensive tackle Calvin Anderson to a two-year, $7 million. Between those two and incumbent left tackle Trent Brown, the Patriots are hoping to have two starters ready for Week 1.

As for Reiff, his focus remains on the day-to-day; the meetings, workouts and on-field drills that comprise the team’s ongoing offseason program.

“Right now, I’m just worried about learning the playbook and stuff,” he said. “I just want to keep playing. Simple as that.”

DOLPHINS: Following a turbulent 2022 season with the Patriots, tackle Isaiah Wynn was introduced in Miami after signing a one-year, $2.3 million deal late in free agency. A first-round pick in 2018, Wynn endured an up-and-down tenure in Foxborough, but said he appreciated his time with the Patriots and looks forward to squaring off with them this season.

“Oh, it was good. They’re the team that drafted me, so I appreciate everybody in that organization from the staff to the players. I thank them,” Wynn said. “My time was good there and then it’s going to be fun playing against them, man – especially seeing them twice a year being on the opposite side… It’s always a fun camaraderie. We’ll see how it all plays out for sure.”


So what was it that drew Wynn to the Dolphins?

“Definitely the coaching staff and the players, man. They’re definitely building something special, so I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?” Wynn said. “And then get the opportunity to come home, that was a no-brainer for me. No doubt.”

The tackle was tight-lipped on whether he’d been given an opportunity to compete for a starting role on Miami’s offensive line. Left tackle Terron Armstead is a Pro Bowler, so Wynn would presumably be battling with Austin Jackson on the right side.

BROWNS: Za’Darius Smith has put a new edge on Cleveland’s offseason defensive makeover. The three-time Pro Bowl pass rusher officially joined the Browns on Tuesday after the team agreed last week to acquire him from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for fifth-round draft picks in 2024 and 2025.

The 30-year-old had 10 sacks in 2022, his only season with the Vikings, and has 54 1/2 career sacks since breaking in with Baltimore in 2015. He’s returning to the AFC North, where the Browns have to deal with Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson twice each.

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