Former 49ers safety Eric Reid was the first player to join Colin Kaepernick, by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. However, three days into free agency, Reid was not among the first wave of high-priced free agents to get signed by NFL teams.
And Reid thinks the anthem protests are the reason why.
On Thursday, the five-year NFL vet took to Twitter to speak out against any NFL owners who might have taken him off their lists, because of his anthem protests:
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
Reid then doubled down on the attack against his would-be employers, by pointing out that NFL owners, not general managers, who are the problem:
GMs aren’t the hold up broski. It’s ownership. People who know football know who can play. People who know me, know my character. https://t.co/M9ULziZg5V
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 16, 2018
According to Fox News, “Pro Football Rumors listed him as one of the top players available on the market.”
However, Reid shouldn’t be completely surprised by NFL owners exercising their right to not hire someone they perceive as a potential distraction. In fact, Reid predicted that his activist ways might conspire to hold him back in free agency.
“I wouldn’t use the word concerned,” Reid told ESPN in December. “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 was drafted out of LSU as a safety, however, last year the 49ers moved him to weakside linebacker. A move which casts doubt on Reid’s contention that “people who know football know who can play.” It also provides a reason, other than anthem protests, for why a team might have some hesitation before signing Reid.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn