Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Joe Reitz had a rather enjoyable offseason.
March, in particular, was memorable. In a span of 10 days, he agreed to a three-year, $8-million contract to continue to play for his hometown team and his daughter, Virginia, was born. Jill and Joe Reitz also have another daughter, 4-year-old Juliana, and a 2-year-old son, A.J.
“The month of March was good for the Reitz family,” he said during offseason training activities.
He said of Juliana, “We had a big celebration when we (got the contract), so she was just happy we had a party with cake and ice cream.”
Reitz, 30, has come a long way from his prep days as a basketball star at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind. He’s in his fifth NFL season and the Colts paid him well for his versatility as a lineman who can play tackle or guard.
He’s listed as the backup left tackle, but Reitz has played in 44 games including 24 starts. He started all three playoff games at right tackle last postseason. He understands the importance of readiness at a moment’s notice, regardless of position.
“That’s something you know I’ve prided myself in, being the more you can do,” he said. “I’ve obviously played mostly guard throughout my career, but I played five or so at right tackle (last year). So wherever I can fit on the team, whether it’s guard or tackle, right or left, I’m happy, willing and able to do it.”
Reitz was initially listed as a guard last season, playing left and right guard in addition to right tackle. He played as a reserve right tackle in Sunday’s 27-14 opening loss at Buffalo.
“Hopefully I can finish my career here,” he said, “and we can hoist a couple of trophies in the middle of that.”
That would make his family and so many local friends who have followed his career happy.
Much to his surprise, his phone started buzzing with congratulations before the team had announced his new contract.
“It’s amazing with the Internet how fast stuff travels,” he said. “Before I even had the chance to tell some people, because I was going to wait until it became official, and then people were texting me and ‘Congrats.’
“We had a nice celebration obviously. My family was all glad. We went out to dinner. So of course everybody made me pay, but I said, ‘Hey, this is one time I’m happy to do it, right?’”
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