Eric Reid Says He Hasn't Received Contract Offers Since Panthers Release

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2020

Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid (25) defends against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Free-agent safety Eric Reid told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he hasn't received any contract offers or invitations from teams since the Carolina Panthers released him in March (h/t ESPN).

His former coach, Ron Rivera—who's now coaching the Washington Football Team—spoke highly of Reid:

"I would tell them he's a heck of a teammate. He came in and the young man did exactly what was asked of him. He was not an issue. I will say this, too. He's a young man who really, truly helped me understand the entire movement that's going on right now. He's a heck of a young man. I'll tell you that much.

"We're in a fortunate position where we have Landon Collins. A guy like Eric Reid wouldn't fit us here. But if we didn't [have Collins], believe me, I'd call him. I think he's a guy that has the ability to play in this league and hopefully, if somebody needs a strong safety, he's a guy they would call."

Reid also praised Rivera.

"I enjoyed playing for Coach Rivera," he said. "He's the real deal. He has that reputation for a reason."

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The 28-year-old Reid posted career highs in tackles (130) and sacks (four) last season. He added seven tackles for loss, six passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. It's hard to imagine his play is what's kept him out of the league this year.

Reid and Colin Kaepernick would offer up a different theory, suggesting they both remain out of football because of their decision to kneel in protest of police brutality and racial discrimination while they were teammates on the San Francisco 49ers a few years ago.

Both said as much after the NFL used footage of them kneeling from the 2016 season in a video before Sunday's game, which also included a rendition of the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and other images of the league's players kneeling together.

While Reid played last season, Kaepernick has remained unsigned since he last appeared in an NFL game in 2016. His supporters believe the NFL shunned him for kneeling during the anthem, which became a major national debate.

In August, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league should have listened to Kaepernick and the message he was trying to amplify during an appearance on "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man" with Emmanuel Acho:

"I wish we had listened earlier, Kap, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to," Goodell said. "We had invited him in several times to have the conversation, to have the dialogue. I wish we had the benefit of that, we never did. We would have benefited from that, absolutely."