S Eric Reid back with NFL, signs with Panthers

Free-agent safety Eric Reid has found a home within the NFL once again.

The Carolina Panthers signed Reid to a one-year contract, the team announced Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the Panthers for Reid, who followed in the footsteps of former San Francisco 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick this past offseason in filing a collusion grievance against the NFL.

Reid claimed at the beginning of the offseason that he wasn't receiving interest from teams due to his decision to kneel during the national anthem. He was the first player to kneel alongside Kaepernick as a means to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

The 26-year-old Reid's lone visit this offseason was with the Cincinnati Bengals. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported that Mike Brown asked Reid for his reaction after being told that the Bengals owner planned to prohibit kneeling during national anthem for the 2018 season.

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 last week with his second concussion in a month.

"Eric has been a starting safety in the NFL and has played at a high level throughout his career," general manager Marty Hurney said. "After we put Da'Norris Searcy on injured reserve, (coach) 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 has been a starter in each of his five NFL seasons.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Reid started 12 of the 13 games he played for the 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.

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.

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