Twentyman: Reiff signs rookie contract

Posted Jul 23, 2012

Riley Reiff described himself as a “blue-collar guy” during his first visit to Allen Park after the Lions drafted him in the first round of April’s NFL Draft. He said he just wanted to grab his lunch pail and go to work every day.

Well, Reiff can begin his shift now that he’s signed on the dotted line of a new four-year rookie contract. Based on his draft slot, Reiff's four-year contract should be worth around $8 million with a signing bonus in the $2.6 million range.

The Lions were more than ecstatic when Reiff -- considered the draft’s second-best tackle – fell to them with the 23rd overall pick. The team’s left tackle of the future, Reiff will compete in training camp starting Friday with left tackle Jeff Backus and right tackle Gosder Cherilus for a starting spot this year.

“Riley's on track to play a lot of football for us really early,” said Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. “He's an exceptional talent, and he's a great kid. He's going to really help us on our offensive line. Where he ends up this year really hasn't been determined yet. But we're just happy with what we've seen so far. We think he's going to be a heck of a player."

Left guard Rob Sims had pretty much the same evaluation of Reiff after practicing with him this offseason.

“There’s definitely a reason the kid was picked in the first round,” Sims said. “He’s very athletic. He’s smart and he’s in there learning. Our system takes a while to get used to; we have a lot of different wrinkles we throw at you. But he’s a good player and he will be a good player. We just have to find out when that is, but Riley is going to be a good one.”

Rookies and injured players report to camp today and the veteran check in Thursday.