Former 49er and anthem protester Eric Reid, has not yet been signed by a new club. Reid believes that his anthem protests are a likely reason for why he hasn’t been signed.
It also appears that newly-signed 49er Richard Sherman might agree with him.
During a press conference in San Francisco, Sherman, who also served as a player representative in Seattle, addressed the apparent lack of interest in Reid.
“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said. “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.”
Last week, Reid sent out a couple of tweets in which he blamed NFL ownership for his inability to find work:
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
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
Reid was among the first players to join Kaepernick in his anthem protests. He also blasted Vice President Pence for walking out of a Colts-49ers game in October, referring to it as a “PR stunt,” and “systematic oppression.”
For those reasons, some teams might understandably have some caution when discussing the option of signing Reid. However, there are football reasons for not signing him as well.
Despite Richard Sherman’s contention that Reid is among “the top-five, top-10 safeties in this league,” the 49ers clearly did not think so. In fact, they moved Reid from his natural safety position, to weakside linebacker last season. A move they would not likely have made if he was as good as Richard Sherman thinks he is.
Then there’s the problem of Richard Sherman’s former teammate Michael Bennett. Bennett was not only an outspoken anthem protester, he publicly smeared the Las Vegas Police Department as racist. Bennett accused the LVPD of arresting him in during an active shooter investigation simply because he was black. However, police video later emerged which showed that to clearly not be the case.
If Michael Bennett can behave like that and land a job, as he did recently with the Philadelphia Eagles, then Richard Sherman and the NFLPA are going to have a very hard time trying to prove that teams are singling out Eric Reid for his anthem protests.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn