Eric Reid has filed a grievance against the NFL, claiming that his continued free agency is a result of active collusion between NFL owners as a result of Reid kneeling alongside former teammate Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem before games.
Reid, in cooperation with the NFL Players’ Association, began kneeling with Kaepernick in 2016 and continued doing so in 2017, even after Kaepernick was no longer on the San Francisco 49ers roster. Reid officially became a free agent this off-season after finishing a five-year deal with the 49ers that paid him $8.5 million.
At just 26-years-old, Reid is among the best safeties in the league and easily the best available on the open market. However, teams are clearly reluctant to sign him due to his outspoken ways and anthem protests — even after Reid promised he would stop kneeling for the anthem in 2018.
Statement on Eric Reid Collusion Grievance pic.twitter.com/Z4eGAADCoE
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) May 2, 2018
Much like Kaepernick’s collusion claims (Reid is being represented by the same lawyer — Mark Geragos), this one will be hard to prove. It’s not enough to claim that the league is passively colluding against signing him. They have to prove that NFL owners have actively and willingly agreed, verbally or in writing, to collectively keep Reid out of the league. The owners are smart, and will have covered their tracks (if they actually even engaged in active collusion, that is).
In the meantime, Reid remains unemployed.