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Report: Eric Reid to visit the Bengals

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It’s about time.

Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid is set to visit with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. Reid previously mentioned that his agent was in touch with teams, but this is believed to be his first free agent visit.

The safety market has been a relatively quiet one. Initially it seemed like Reid’s outspoken protest for civil rights was costing him, but the safety market as a whole has been tough to figure out. Tyrann Mathieu and Morgan Burnett were two of the other notable safeties, but once they signed, the market had remained quiet.

Eric Reid has been the best safety on the market for most of free agency, and it has been odd to see things so quiet. I think part is due to his protest, but it also seems like the league could be considering the position in another light. I don’t know why exactly, particularly given the increase in the passing game. I get how linebackers might lose some value as teams move to more three- and four-wide receiver sets, but that would seemingly open the door for safeties to get more bang for their buck.

Reid played strong safety and a little bit of weak side linebacker in 2017 after spending his first four seasons playing free safety. He has had some downs at times, but he settled well into more of a thumper role this past season, while also showing his ability to drop into coverage. With offseason workout programs getting underway, we will wait and see if he is able to get under contract and start learning a new defense.