The former 49er on Thursday inked a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers despite joining Colin Kaepernick in filing a grievance against the NFL alleging owners colluded to keep them out of the league after they began protesting racial discrimination and police brutality during the national anthem in 2016.
Reid said in March that he wouldn't take a knee during the national anthem when he returned to the field, and would instead raise awareness for social justice causes in other ways. He played both free and strong safety positions with San Francisco, and also spent time as a linebacker in passing downs last season.
When Reid signed with the Panthers, the team's Twitter account posted a photo of Reid sitting with a fist up over his contract.
Reid had played the first five years of his career in San Francisco after being picked in the first round of the 2013 draft.
The Panthers are in need of help at safety after Da'Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve due to a concussion. He's a very physical player who has good ball skills and really good playmaking ability. He's lead a team, played in a Super Bowl.
"I'm on the West Coast visiting schools all week", Hurney said during a phone interview from the University of Southern California, "so I actually haven't talked to Eric". I think (Kaepernick) is a good player.
Smith, who has has defended the right of players to protest, called the 26-year-old Reid a "great leader" and one of the "best men that I know". "I don't think Reid signing a contract would wipe away" the grievances, Lenz said. "I don't see why a team won't sign him, or hasn't signed him".
Hyde went on to say he's happy for Reid and "it's been too long" since the safety played in the NFL. Now that he's on a roster for the first time since last season, could the door suddenly be ajar for the activist quarterback as well?
The Panthers (2-1) are on their bye week.