I didn’t think it was a good sign when the San Francisco 49ers moved Eric Reid over to strong safety to play at a spot where I’d heard they already felt strongly about another player, Jaquiski Tartt. I thought the move would be a good fit schematically, but also perhaps the last stand for Reid in a 49ers uniform. He’d have to play exceedingly well there to earn a midseason contract extension.
And now the 49ers have moved him to linebacker. It’s not a full-time switch (or it doesn’t seem to be), but with Reid being confident that he’d return to his strong safety spot immediately followed by him playing linebacker, I have to believe this is a change that was made with little input from the player.
Reid doesn’t seem thrilled about the change. The 49ers have suggested that this is just a move to get their best 11 players on the field at one time, and I do buy that, to an extent. I jut don’t see Reid the linebacker as a better player than an average linebacker, at least right now.
At this point, people are openly talking about Reid being benched and Reid being traded before the deadline hits. I don’t think either scenario is likely to happen, but I honestly don’t see a scenario in which the 49ers re-sign Reid this season or during the offseason.
For the 49ers, they are looking at a guy with a long injury history who has switched positions twice now, and hasn’t looked quite as good as he looked when he was at his best playing free safety.
On the other side, for Reid, it doesn’t make sense to re-sign with a team that wants to keep moving his position, and one with two very serviceable safeties in Tartt and Jimmie Ward.
Do you think there’s any situation in which Reid is playing for the 49ers next season?