Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Safety Eric Reid not drawing interest in free agent market

Mar 15, 2018 at 7:00 AM--

Running back Carlos Hyde was snatched up by the Cleveland Browns on the first day of free agency while another San Francisco 49ers free agent hasn't received a nibble. Safety Eric Reid continues to wait and wonder if an NFL team will come calling.

There was speculation that teams would possibly pass him over — at least in the beginning — and we've only had one full day of free agency thus far. Of course, NFL teams have been able to contact agents and inquire about players since Monday morning. According to a report by Mike Jones of USA Today, there has been no buzz surrounding Reid.

The 49ers selected Reid out of LSU with the 18th-overall pick in 2013. He earned a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie. Last season, the 26-year-old safety registered 67 tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defensed in 13 games with 12 starts. Only once has Reid tallied less than 62 tackles in a season (41 in 2014). Yet, he is garnering no interest.

Some might argue that Reid's injury history may be playing a part in the lack of interest. He suffered a PCL injury last season during a Week 2 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks that forced him to miss the next three games. In 2016, Reid played in 10 games before suffering a torn bicep and being placed on injured reserve. He sustained multiple concussions early in his NFL career.

Surely, a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers or Seattle Seahawks have to be at least intrigued by a player like Reid, who plays a very physical brand of football.

Jones believes Reid's free agency status may not be related to football at all.

"Unpopular for taking a knee during the protest [with Colin] Kaepernick and continuing the fight against social injustice last year," wrote Jones in the tweet.

The USA Today reporter is not alone in that view. Josina Anderson of ESPN indicated that the protests have likely impacting Reid's value.

Of course, Reid knew NFL teams might pass him over because of his decision to kneel alongside quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and continuing the protest on his own in 2017. In December, he was asked if he was concerned that his decision might hurt his free-agent prospects.

"I wouldn't use the word concerned," Reid said. "I would say I understand that's a possibility. And I'm completely fine with it. The things that I've done, I stand by, and I've done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I'm fine with whatever outcome happens because of that."

Reid believes he made the correct choice when it comes to kneeling during the national anthem in protest of social injustice.

"There are probably teams that won't want to talk to me because of it," he continued. "I'm hopeful that I will be on a team next year, but if not, again, that's OK with me."

For the 49ers, the longer Reid sits and waits, the cheaper general manager John Lynch and company might be able to re-sign the safety — assuming they want him back at all. In August of 2017, Lynch even called Reid a better athlete than Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor.

"Eric's probably not the physical player that Kam Chancellor is but he's a better athlete, I believe," Lynch said.

Over his five-year NFL career, Reid has 70 game appearances, started all but one of those games, registered 318 combined tackles, 10 interceptions, a sack, 34 passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.

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