The Cincinnati Bengals brought in Riley Reiff to help protect Joe Burrow, and Reiff has officially put pen to paper.
While some sources have Reiff’s contract lasting only one year, the Bengals’ website reported that Reiff will be under contract through 2022. Some Bengals fans are confused by the conflicting reports.
In a way, both reports are correct.
So here’s what the deal is: Reiff has signed a two-year contract worth $7.5 million, with a void year in 2022. Technically, it is a one-year contract.
The void year means that Reiff will not play for the Bengals in 2022 unless they re-sign him. They will still pay him in 2022, but that is just to spread out his cap hit.
To oversimplify it, Reiff is playing for only one year, but his cap hit will be $4.7 million in 2021 and $2.8 million in 2022. Reiff will play for one year, but his cap hit will spread out over two years unless the Bengals extend him before his contract expires.
Void years are becoming more and more common in the NFL as teams try to maximize their cap space. This is what the Bengals are doing with Reiff, only paying him a fraction of his contract next season.
With Bobby Hart’s $3.9 million base salary off the books, the Bengals get a solid upgrade at right tackle for less than $1 million next year. This doesn’t even include Hart’s roster bonuses or workout bonuses, which would have driven his payout up.
In total, the Bengals are getting an absolute bargain for Reiff while improving a huge hole on the offensive line.