The Panthers have re-signed safety Eric Reid through the 2021 campaign, the club announced today. Reid’s new three-year deal is worth more than $22MM, and contains incentives that could raise the total value of $24MM, according to Mike Silver of NFL.com.
Reid, 27, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next month, but he’ll stay in Carolina without ever testing the open market. That Reid avoided free agency altogether could be a product of his experience last year, when he wasn’t signed until the end of September. The free agent market for safeties was stagnant last offseason, with multiple veteran defensive backs having to settle for single-season pacts, but Reid’s national anthem protests also likely played a role in his unemployment.
Before landing with the Panthers, Reid took a visit with the Bengals, but subsequently filed a grievance after Cincinnati questioned him about his kneeling during the anthem. He was also linked to vacancies with the Titans and Falcons, but neither club ever seriously pursued him. Reid’s one-year deal with Carolina was worth $1.39MM and had a maximum value of $2MM.
In his first season with the Panthers, the 27-year-old Reid appeared in 13 games (all starts) while posting 71 tackles, five passes defensed, one interception, and one sack. Pro Football Focus graded Reid as the NFL’s No. 55 safety among 93 qualifiers. Next year, he’s likely to play alongside Da’Norris Searcy in Carolina’s secondary, unless Mike Adams — who played more than 90% of the Panthers’ defensive snaps a year ago — is re-signed.
Although Reid is now off the board, the 2019 free agent safety market still boasts a number of intriguing options. Veterans such as Earl Thomas, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Landon Collins, Adrian Amos, Tre Boston, Lamarcus Joyner, Tyrann Mathieu, and Kenny Vaccaro are all projected to reach free agency next month.
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