It took Eric Reid a long time to land a deal in 2018. The veteran safety may have a clearer path toward securing one for next season.
The Panthers have contacted Reid’s agent about the prospects of another deal for 2019, David Newton of ESPN.com notes. Reid signed a one-year contract with the Panthers in September and will be looking to cash in on what looks like a crowded safety market.
Reid came in and immediately started for Carolina, doing so for all 12 games in which he’s played this season. He and other top safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Tre Boston lingered in free agency for months. Now, each defender’s one-year contract is up. The players viewed as three of the top safeties on the 2018 market may re-enter free agency in 2019, creating an interesting scenario.
Those three join the likes of Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Lamarcus Joyner, Landon Collins and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as safeties due for 2019 free agency. Some of these defenders will not reach free agency, but Reid, Boston and Vaccaro not receiving long-term deals this year may create a crowded marketplace in March.
Pro Football Focus grades Reid as this year’s No. 44 safety. The former 49ers first-round pick having a full offseason to work in Carolina’s system would help his cause for next season, if he is to return to the Panthers.
Reid still has a collusion grievance pending against the NFL. He has continued to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. This course of action likely contributed to the 27-year-old safety, a five-year 49ers starter and 2014 Pro Bowler, remaining in free agency for six-plus months. Considering Colin Kaepernick starting this protest movement almost certainly led to him being out of football the past two seasons, the Panthers engaging in re-up talks with Reid would be a key development.
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