Safety Eric Reid said in December that he understood that teams might not sign him as a free agent this offseason because he knelt during the playing of the national anthem the last two years, adding “that’s OK with me” if teams do pass because he did what he felt was right.
Whether it’s because he joined Colin Kaepernick in protests against racial inequality and police brutality in 2016 or the general slow activity for safeties on the open market, Reid’s had a quiet first week-plus of free agency. The 2013 49ers first-round pick mocked “the notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap” last week and reiterated on Thursday that he’s “OK no matter what happens” in free agency.
Reid, who was watching his brother Justin at Stanford’s Pro Day, also said that he’s not planning to continue taking a knee when and if he does sign with a team for the 2018 season.
“I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on,” Reid said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”
Reid said his agent has spoken to a couple of teams, but no deals have been offered and no visits have been arranged at this point. 49ers General Manager John Lynch was also at Stanford Thursday and spoke to Reid before telling reporters that he expects “things starting to shake for” the safety in the near future. Lynch added he’s “monitoring [Reid’s situation] closely” while adding “never say never” about the prospect of a return to the team.