The Bears continued to add veterans to their offensive line, signing tackle Riley Reiff to a one-year deal Tuesday.
Reiff is familiar with the NFC North, having played for the Lions from 2012-16 and then the Vikings from 2017-20. Reiff started 12 games for the AFC champion Bengals last year.
Reiff, 33, was a Lions 2012 first-round pick out of Iowa.
Rookie Braxton Jones and second-year players Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom rotated at both tackle spots in the spring but didn’t impress enough to make the team comfortable with its starting lineup. The Bears will give Reiff a chance to start.
On Monday, the Bears signed Michael Schofield, who is expected to compete for — and is favored to win — the starting right guard position.
“I think it’s a great message that in the NFL, nothing is guaranteed,” center Lucas Patrick said. “Competition is the greatest barometer for a team. If we could have 100 guys in here who are all NFLveteransand make everyone better I think it makes the team better which then helps us win games. That’s how I see it. I’ve been on both sides of the coin and it’s definitely a benefit. You just have to approach it with the rightmentalitythat you haveto bring your best every day.”
Quarterback Justin Fields said the veterans will teach the younger players. Coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears were “in a much better spot” with the two veterans on the roster than they were 48 hours ago. He wouldn’t commit to which tackle position Reiff would play.
“They have flex,” Eberflus said. “During their career, they played left, they played right, they played inside.”
The Bears have Patrick and Cody Whitehair cemented at center and left guard, respectively. The team reported to Halas Hall on Tuesday and will hold its first practice Wednesday.
“We’re going to find the best five possible,” general manager Ryan Poles said.