Eric Reid remains a free agent, despite being a five-year NFL player who is easily one of the best safeties currently available on the open market. He has played his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers thus far, but famously joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem in 2016. He continued to sit out the anthem in 2017, even after Kaepernick left the team to become a free agent (related: Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since).
During his brother’s recent pro day workout at Stanford, Reid told reporters that he would be willing to stand for the national anthem again if an NFL team signs him.
“I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active, because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on.
“I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”
Brand new 49er Richard Sherman, who is always outspoken, recently said that Reid wasn’t getting contract offers because of his protests. Reid himself tweeted out last week that his personal and political viewpoints have nothing to do with his ability to play football:
The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 15, 2018
Sherman also spoke to the media earlier this week when he was introduced as a member of the 49ers, alluding to potential legal action by the Player’s Union over Reid’s continued unemployment.
“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league. 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 concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. 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, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”
The NFL circus roles on.