Panthers signing of Eric Reid has many layers

Panthers signing of Eric Reid has many layers

The Carolina Panthers on Thursday signed safety Eric Reid - who supported Colin Kaepernick's protest against perceived racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

The former Pro Bowler played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-17, where he famously knelt alongside Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem in 2016. Wide receiver Torrey Smith shared the locker room with Reid in San Francsico and has had only positive things to say about the newest Panthers player. Although it wasn't shocking that he went unsigned at the outset of free agency (teams rarely pursue safeties early in the process), eyebrows were raised as he remained on the sidelines throughout training camp and the first three weeks of the season. "After we put Da'Norris Searcy on injured reserve, (head coach) Ron (Rivera) and I discussed our options, and Eric was at the top of our list". He's a very physical player who has good ball skills and really good playmaking ability. "I know how he is as a talent".

Reid, an All-Pro safety who last played for the 49ers, inked a deal with the Carolina Panthers that was announced on social media on Thursday. He's lead a team, played in a Super Bowl.

Reid became a free agent when his contract expired in March.

"I hope so, but I don't know", he said.

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"I think that's great for him", he said. "I called Eric's agent on Tuesday, and (director of football administration) Rob (Rodgers) started talking to him later that day when we were told that Eric would be interested". "The only way I would personally be happier is if he ended up on a team that was on our schedule so that way I'd have a chance to play against him but I'm super excited for him".

"Our union is proud to stand by one of its strongest player leaders and we congratulate Eric for making it back to doing the job he loves", an NFLPA statement read.

The Panthers next play October 7 at home against the New York Giants.

They signed Dezmen Southward, who was with the team in camp, to the practice squad on Monday and also have safety Cole Luke on the practice squad.

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