NFL free agency formally got underway on Wednesday, while the negotiating period began this past Monday. During that time, we have heard nothing about now former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid. And in a report that is not at all surprising, it might have something to do with his protest the past two seasons.
Are protests impacting one free agent now in the market? That's what I'm hearing.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 15, 2018
Anderson did not specify that it is Reid, so it possible it could be someone like former 49ers player Michael Thomas who has made a name for himself as a special teamer with the Miami Dolphins. It is possible Thomas is feeling the impact for his own involvement in the protests, but I don’t think anybody would be foolish to assume Anderson is talking about Reid.
Reid entered free agency coming off a season in which he had to show versatility more than anytime in the past. He was the team’s free safety the first four seasons of his career. In his fifth year, he moved to strong safety, and then injuries forced a temporary move to WILL linebacker. He moved back to safety when additional injuries in the secondary forced the situation.
Since the start of the negotiation period, there has not been a single peep about any interest in Reid. If nothing comes of it, maybe we see him return to the 49ers. But it would be absurd for Reid to not at least get a sniff. We don’t know what kind of money he wants, but if we don’t even hear him getting a chance for a visit, it will be safe to make some assumptions about what is going on. He is a very capable safety, and a team player as seen by his willingness to play three different positions over the course of his time with the 49ers.
Reid has acknowledged over the past year that his decision to protest might cost him in free agency. He is comfortable with that because he believes this is something far bigger than football. If he does not get interest in free agency, it will be pretty obvious what’s up.