The Carolina Panthers did not ask safety Eric Reid about his anthem protests or ongoing collusion case against the NFL prior to signing him to a one-year contract this week, according to a published report on Sunday.
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported that Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told him that it “was purely a football decision.”
“There were no conversations about anything other than football. Eric is a good football player who can help our team at safety,” Hurney said.
Reid, who said previously that he intends to stand for the anthem, was signed by the Panthers in a bid to bolster their secondary. Veteran Da’Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve with his second concussion in a month.
The 26-year-old Reid has been a starter in each of his five NFL seasons.
Reid started 12 of the 13 games he played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, when he had two interceptions, four passes defensed, one fumble recovery and 66 tackles. He has 10 interceptions, 34 passes defended, one sack and 375 tackles since being selected by San Francisco with the 18th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound 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 defensed and one fumble recovery. He started all three playoff games for the 49ers that season, helping the team to an NFC Championship game appearance.
Reid remains part of the collusion case, along with Colin Kaepernick, with their legal team contending that both players were denied the opportunity to earn an NFL contract for non-football reasons, negating their ability to earn a living playing the sport.