Eric Reid may end up being right. But hardly anyone else who plays his position is getting signed at the moment either.
The 49ers safety has a mitigating factor (his willingness to peacefully protest racial inequality) which could well keep him looking for sometime, but the rest of the safety market has gone stale.
Other than Lamarcus Joyner getting tagged by the Rams, Tyrann Mathieu getting cut by the Cardinals and landing quickly with the Texans, and Kurt Coleman‘s pre-free agency deal with the Saints after being released by the Panthers, there hasn’t been much action for top-shelf safeties. In fact, Coleman’s getting a three-year, $16.35 million deal from the Saints is one of the real outliers of March, because no one else at his position is getting that kind of money at his age (29).
There’s also the presence of Seahawks star Earl Thomas on the trade block which could be blocking some teams with interest at the position, as they wait to see if the Seahawks are firm in their asking price.
But as days pass and the market is increasingly picked over everywhere else, the position (traditionally viewed as one of the more fungilbe on NFL rosters) remains stocked with starting level-options.
In fact, of the 20 remaining players in the PFT Top 100 Free Agent list, five are safeties: Kenny Vaccaro (27), Morgan Burnett (36, though he could be off the list soon), Tre Boston (44), Reid (56), and Tyvon Branch (99), and there are other starting caliber players available former Chiefs safety Ron Parker and veterans such as Mike Mitchell and Quintin Demps. There’s also Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, but he was a knee-taker as well, so we’ll see if he gets any job, much less at any price.
So while Reid’s suggestion that his willingness to be outspoken will cost him with owners rather than General Managers, the position he plays remains a hindrance at the moment as well.