The Carolina Panthers signed safety Eric Reid today to a one-year contract. Terms were not disclosed. Reid was signed as a replacement for current starting safety Da’Norris Searcy, who was placed on injured reserve after suffering two concussions in less than 30 days.
At 6-1 and 215 pounds, Reid played the first five seasons of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers after being selected by the team in the first round (18th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.
“Eric has been a starting safety in the NFL and has played at a high level throughout his career,” general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. “After we put (safety) Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve, Ron (Rivera) and I discussed our options, and Eric was at the top of our list. He is a physical safety with good ball skills and play-making ability.”
Reid earned Pro Bowl and All-Rookie honors in his first season after starting all 16 games for the 49ers and recording 92 tackles, four interceptions, 11 passes defended and one fumble recovery. He started all three playoff games for the 49ers that season, helping the team to an NFC Championship game appearance.
In 2016, Reid was the first player to join former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. He felt that was a reason the NFL blackballed him and Kaepernick after he was left on the free agent market after the 2017 season. Reid filed a suit alleging collusion after the first six weeks of free agency. The grievance’s status remains unchanged after Reid signed with the Panthers.
Congrats 2 my brother @e_reid35, all pro safety who should have been signed the 1st day of free agency, who has signed a football contract.
He was the 1ST person 2 kneel alongside me. Eric is a social justice warrior, continues to support his family. and communities in need. pic.twitter.com/TsZOaFycYT
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 27, 2018
The Atlanta Falcons have placed safety Ricardo Allen on injured reserve after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in last Sunday’s loss at home against the New Orleans Saints. In response, Atlanta signed safety Sharrod Neasman to the active roster.
Neasman originally joined the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Head Coach Dan Quinn said Monday afternoon the team is committed to Damontae Kazee as the starting free safety. Jordan Richards and Kehmal Ishmael will deputize at strong safety for the injured Keanu Neal.
“No, I recognize the question for sure,” Quinn said Monday regarding a question pertaining to Reid. “But we’re really committed to Kazee. That’s why we drafted him. That’s why we developed him, and he’s the right guy for it. So we’re bummed for Rico (Allen) and all he means to us, but in this instance, Kazee’s definitely ready for that challenge.”
Moreover, the 49ers, with starting safeties Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) and Adrian Colbert (hip) currently dealing with injuries, confirmed Thursday they had made a one-year offer to Reid this week before he signed with Carolina. Reid declined a one-year contract offer with the 49ers because it was for a backup job.
“We talked from time to time,” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said during his Wednesday press conference “… I always knew he’d get signed. He’s a good player. A lot worse players getting signed these days, so they’re going to have a hard time explaining that, I’m sure.”
Last season, Reid started 12 of 13 games played, registering 66 tackles, two interceptions, four passes defended and one fumble recovery.
For his career, Reid has started 69 of 70 regular season games played, tallying 375 tackles, 10 interceptions, 34 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The Carolina Panthers return to action Week 5 at home against the New York Giants. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium.