The Panthers have signed free agent safety Eric Reid to a one-year deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Reid will help to fill the void after the team was forced to place safety Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve last week.
This offseason, Reid fell victim to a stagnant free agent market for safeties. His role in national anthem protests and alignment with Colin Kaepernick may have also played a role in his extended unemployment. Whatever the reason, Reid is undoubtedly happy to be back in football and in a situation where he has an opportunity to shine.
“Eric has been a starting safety in the NFL and has played at a high level throughout his career,” GM Marty Hurney said in a statement. “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 is a physical safety with good ball skills and play-making ability.”
Reid took a visit with the Bengals earlier this year, but later filed a grievance after Cincinnati asked him about his anthem stance. He was scheduled to meet with the Titans earlier this month, but multiple flight cancellations prevented Reid’s visit. He was linked to the Falcons recently after they lost their second starting safety of the year, but they did not pursue him.
Reid, 26, was something of a playmaker during his first two NFL campaigns, as he posted seven total interceptions from 2013-14. While he hasn’t kept up that rate of turnover creation, Reid is still a solid starter, and Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s No. 30 safety a year ago.
The Panthers’ signing of Reid does not impact his collusion grievance against the NFL, Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter) hears. Reid is represented by attorney Mark Geragos, the same lawyer representing Kaepernick in his case against the league.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.