Austin Reiter made enough of an impression in his short time with the Chiefs for them to decide they want to keep him in the fold with a two-year contract extension.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman who the Chiefs claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 3 signed a contract extension with the team on Wednesday. Reiter started four games this season after injuries sidelined starting center Mitch Morse, starting guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and backup guard Jordan Devey.
Terms of the extension were not disclosed, but Reiter was due to become a restricted free agent this coming offseason. He’s making $630,000 in base salary this year. The extension will pay him a maximum of $5.5 million and included a $1 million signing bonus, a source confirmed to The Star. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network first reported the extension details.
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Reiter, 27, entered the league as a seventh-round pick (222nd overall) by Washington in the 2015 NFL Draft. He fluctuated between the practice squad and 53-man roster during 2015 and 2016 before being signed to Cleveland’s active roster off the Washington practice squad in September 2016.
Reiter’s 2016 season ended when he tore a ligament in his left knee against Washington in his first career start. Cleveland released him at the end of preseason this year.
Reiter was inactive for the first five games of this season, but he started games against Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams before ceding that starting spot back to Morse last weekend against the Oakland Raiders.
“It is a credit to (general manager) Brett (Veach) and his staff that have put together a team that continues to add talent and be a competitive room,” Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck said last week of the line’s ability to have success with different players. “I don’t give it a lot of thought and probably take it for granted that these are the best guys. They’re ours and we prepare every guy in the room to get ready to play multiple spots.
“It doesn’t even occur to me or anybody in our room — or on the team, for that matter — that you would get anything but the same level of play. You just approach it that way, you hold them to that expectation. And usually when you set the expectation, you set the bar, guys usually rise to that.”