Word got out on Monday that former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid has his first visit of free agency scheduled with the Cincinnati Bengals. Reid previously mentioned his agent had spoken with other teams, and John Lynch previously said the 49ers had some discussions with Reid.
On Monday, we learned a whole lot more about what the 49ers had in mind with Reid. NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo reported the 49ers were interested in keeping Reid, albeit for a one-year deal with little guarantees. That was not what Reid was looking for, according to Garafolo. The reporter had this to say regarding San Francisco’s interest in Reid:
“I know that the San Francisco 49ers talked about re-signing him, but earlier in the process, they wanted to do a one-year deal with him, because they got some younger guys with him or might look to draft a safety, they couldn’t make a long-term commitment for him. I am told he wanted a long-term deal, with a significant guarantees and the Niners weren’t in a position to do that. That’s why he didn’t return to San Francisco. And it’s also why, on a market that’s a little slim on money for the safeties that he’s had to wait a little bit.”
The reports came out on April 9th that Eric Reid would be meeting with the Bengals. Free agency began on March 14th. So that’s almost a month before any reports have come out on a possible destination—and he still hasn’t been signed.
The 49ers have Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, and Jimmie Ward, though Ward may end spending more of this year at cornerback. All of them are on their rookie deals and provide much cheaper play than what Eric Reid may have been commanding. On the 49ers end, he may have been a victim of circumstance and salary caps if anything else. The 49ers were reportedly willing to bring him back, just not on the terms he wanted.