Many of this year’s top free agents have come off the board, but there has been nary a word of interest in safety Eric Reid. The former 49er believes that teams are staying away from him due to his social activism and decision to knee during the national anthem.
“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set, but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too,” Reid tweeted.
Before the start of free agency, I ranked Reid as the 23rd best player available on our top 50 list with the caveat that Reid’s anthem protest participation could hurt him. That’s likely the case, as lesser free agents at his position have already found NFL homes for 2018. For his part, Reid believes that football evaluators are interested in signing him, but owners of teams are standing in the way of a deal.
“GMs aren’t the hold up, broski,” Reid wrote in response to someone on Twitter. “It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character.”
Reid graded out as the No. 30 ranked safety in the NFL last year, per Pro Football Focus, and did so while playing a number of snaps out of position at linebacker. At just 26 years old, he profiles as a candidate for a substantial multi-year deal in terms of football ability.
In recent days, safeties Kurt Coleman, Tavon Wilson, Cody Davis, Nate Ebner Rafael Bush, and Keith Tandy inked multi-year deals with clubs. All of those players are older than Reid and ranked substantially lower in PFF’s advanced metrics last year. At the same time, the safety market has moved slower than other position groups, so Reid could have better luck once bigger names such as Tyrann Mathieu, Tre Boston, and Kenny Vaccaro ink deals.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.