New San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has a lot of respect for former 49ers safety Eric Reid, who he called one of the league's top five or ten safeties. Reid, like several other free agent safeties, remains available. One thing that distinguishes him from those other safeties is that he was among the first players to join former teammate Colin Kaepernick in protesting against social injustice during the national anthem.

Reid, among others, believes he remains unsigned because he kneeled during the pre-game tradition. The 49ers made him the 18th-overall pick out of LSU in 2013. Reid, who earned a Pro Bowl selection in his rookie season, registered 67 tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defensed in 2017. Only once in his five NFL seasons has he recorded less than 62 tackles (41 in 2014).

"We are concerned because he played at a high level for just about every year that he's played in this league," Sherman told reporters on Tuesday. "He's made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he's top five, top 10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly. So there is a concern there because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now but I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players.

"I'm praying that he gets picked up, but if he doesn't, I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential legal action."

Kaepernick, who started the protest to create awareness of the issue and was at the forefront of the controversy during the 2016 season, remains unemployed after opting out of his contract in March of 2017.

"I'm sure he could have played for the Jets this year and done a much better job," Sherman said during a KNBR interview on March 13. "Cleveland could have used him. Once (Deshaun) Watson went down, Houston definitely could have used him. Denver had everything, a challenging defense, great receivers. You throw a pretty good quarterback in the mix, who knows how that changes the dynamic.

"But I think sometimes, to make a point, teams would rather just lose."

Reid was the 49ers' NFL Players Association union representative, which is the same role Sherman held with the Seahawks. It's a role that Sherman hopes to continue with his new team.

"I'm on the executive committee for the players union already, but I'd love to continue to be a rep," Sherman said. "I think it's an honor to serve your men, to help the next generation of players in any way I can."