Carolina Panthers sign former 49ers safety Eric Reid

Carolina Panthers sign former 49ers safety Eric Reid

Eric Reid, a defensive back who was formerly a teammate of Colin Kaepernick with the San Francisco 49ers, signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. The 26-year-old was the first player to kneel with Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem in protest of police tactics toward African-Americans. Wide receiver Torrey Smith shared the locker room with Reid in San Francsico and has had only positive things to say about the newest Panthers player.

Kaepernick, who has been a free agent since March 2017, filed a similar collusion grievance against the league in October 2017.

Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney told ESPN brought on Reid as "a football decision", and not because of Reid's grievance. "After we put Da'Norris Searcy on injured reserve, Ron [Rivera] and I discussed our options, and Eric was at the top of our list". "He's a hell of a safety, a really good player".

According to a report by Jim Trotter, Carolina didn't even ask Reid if he plans to continue demonstrating.

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills says he's excited to see Eric Reid back in the National Football League, and knows his good friend Colin Kaepernick is ready to return, too.

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Reid was the first to join Kaepernick in kneeling during the anthem.

"I think so, but you never know", McCourty said.

"I'm immensely proud of what all the guys have done that are trying to have a voice for the voiceless", Reid said. The lawsuit alleges that team owners and the league, influenced by President Donald Trump, colluded to prevent his employment because of his protests. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl the same year. He's good enough to play.

"He'll come in and take part in practice Monday, and it will be a coaching decision as to when they think he'll be ready to go", Hurney said.

In Carolina, Reid joins a defense that has uncharacteristically struggled this season; the unit, regularly among the league's best, now ranks 23rd overall, via Football Outsiders' metrics, and is 20th in pass defense. "I don't think he would be that interested in it".