Bengals sign offensive lineman Reiff, trade backup QB Finley and release Atkins, Hart

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Posted at 10:22 AM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 16:27:51-04

CINCINNATI — In a series of moves Friday, the Cincinnati Bengals signed former Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Riley Reiff, traded backup quarterback Ryan Finley to the Houston Texans and terminated veteran defensive tackle Geno Atkins and offensive tackle Bobby Hart.

Finley, a third-year player out of North Carolina State, was a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in 2019. After Joe Burrow's rookie season ended in injury, Finley took the helm and posted 164 yards for one touchdown and two interceptions.

Atkins, 32, was a 2010 fourth-round draft pick by the Bengals and is an eight-time Pro Bowler, the most appearances ever by a Bengals defender and second-most overall. In 11 seasons, Atkins totaled 75.5 sacks, the third-most in team history and more than double the amount of the next-highest defensive tackle.

Hart, a seventh-year player out of Florida State University, joined the Bengals in 2018 after spending his first three seasons with the New York Giants.

On Friday, the Bengals confirmed Reiff's deal with an 8-second video posted to Twitter which shows Reiff and the word "Signed."

The Bengals seemingly confirmed the signing earlier Friday after they asked people on Twitter if they were "feeling Australian" with the hashtag #GreatBarrierReiff.

Reiff and some of the Bengals current players, including Joe Burrow and Sam Hubbard, had dinner Thursday night in an upstairs room of Jeff Ruby's Precinct.

"I walked away from eating that steak wanting to block for that guy," Reiff said. "I feel like I fit in here."

The veteran lineman should give Burrow some extra protection as he comes off of reconstructive knee surgery.

"Really impressed with [Joe Burrow]," Reiff said. "He looks great on film and he's even better off the field. Just the way he conducts himself. Down to earth. Cincinnati type guy. Tough. Midwestern. Blue collar."

Reiff was the 23rd overall draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 2012 and played with them until 2015. In 2017, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings, and in 2018 he was named as one of the team's captains.

During Friday's press conference, the Bengals made official the free agent signings of defensive end Trey Hendrickson, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi and cornerbacks Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie.