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Eric Reid says he wouldn’t regret protesting, even if shunned in free agency

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Reid stands by the decisions he’s made, and thinks there’s a chance they could hurt his career going forward.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid is likely going to hit the open market, as there isn’t much chance that the team re-signs him before the 2018 free agency period. Reid is notable for his strong play at strong safety, his aggressive style of play, and being one of the very first people to support Colin Kaepernick in his peaceful protests during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games.

Reid faces the potential to be shunned by potential suitors due to his close links to the protest, like Kaepernick, who is unarguably good enough to play in the NFL. Reid understands this though, and also said he is “fine” with it.

"I wouldn't use the word concerned," Reid said on Friday, via ESPN. "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 said that he wants to play on a team next year, but acknowledged that there remains a possibility it won’t happen.

"It's a possibility," Reid said. "There are probably teams that won't want to talk to me because of it. I'm hopeful that I will be on a team next year, but if not, again, that's OK with me."

I’m not positive if the 49ers will re-sign Reid, but there’s an argument that his spot on the roster isn’t safe. He began the last offseason as a free safety, moved to strong safety opposite Jimmie Ward, moved to linebacker to get Jaquiski Tartt on the field, then moved back to strong safety after Tartt was injured.

But the 49ers have to feel good about Tartt going forward, and then the other spot is manned by Jimmie Ward or Adrian Colbert. I’d be sad to see Reid go, especially if he thinks he can play linebacker, but it would be a million times worse if he hit the open market and then was shut out for anthem reasons.