Who could have guessed that the Chiefs would sign a free agent center named Austin to a low-cost, one-year contract and that it wouldn’t be Austin Reiter returning for another season? Therein lies a bit of insight into maybe why Reiter is still waiting for a team to offer him something he likes enough to sign for the 2021 season (and beyond).
The Chiefs were reportedly interested in Reiter to return for another year, and per reports, the veteran center was considering the offer. However, while waiting for one side to respond, the Chiefs ended up extending an opportunity to Austin Blythe, former starting center for the L.A. Rams last season, to become Reiter’s replacement instead.
Given that Blythe’s deal is for the veteran minimum and the fact he plays guard as well, we suppose that there’s nothing keeping from the Chiefs from bringing back Reiter as well. Blythe’s contractual total hardly screams “definite starter”. Still, it’s hard to see it happening unless Reiter decided to take a Blythe-like deal to come back and compete again.
In a way, Reiter’s availability is surprising on multiple levels, then. First, the Chiefs’ initial interest made it seem like a matter of time until he would return. In addition, Reiter has a solid resume for a still-available offensive lineman in a league where sub-standard play across the entire offensive front is fairly common. For instance, the Colts have already given deals to the likes of Julien Davenport, Chris Reed, and Sam Tevi all in the name of bolstering the line. So how is Reiter really still sitting there?
Perhaps Reiter knows he’s now the best free agent center available and is wanting a deal that’s better than a single-season flyer? Maybe he’s waiting out the draft to see what jobs are available there? It’s hard to know what the hold-up is, but being a starting center in two consecutive Super Bowls is not something many free agents can say, which makes us surprised to see Reiter still sitting there.