As the NFL regular season gets going in just over two weeks, one of the biggest stories is the future of Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid.
By now it’s already known that the former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick remains unsigned, primarily because he took part in the Colin Kaepernick-led national anthem protests.
The 26-year-old safety has since filed a grievance against the NFL claiming that the league and its owners have colluded to keep him unemployed. That’s led to a less than robust market for the talented defensive back.
In talking about his former player on Tuesday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan noted that the team is open to re-signing Reid. Though, there’s one caveat. It would be as a backup.
“If any really good player wants to come in here on a minimum deal, and have a good player be a backup, that would be unbelievable,” Shanahan said, via KNBR. “I don’t think that’s what Eric wants. The reason we decided to not go in that direction is because we made a tough decision, but we had to do it. We went with Tartt.”
It’s rather clear that a reunion is not happening on this front. San Francisco has its safeties set with second-year stud Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt. Short of Reid taking a minimal deal to be a backup, he’s not returning to the 49ers.
Former teammate Eli Harold, who has also taken part in the above-mentioned protests in the past, spoke out on Reid as well.
“It just sucks, you know?” Harold said. “He is a heck of a ballplayer. It hurts me to see what he is going through.”
There’s no reason to believe this will tear apart an otherwise tight-knit 49ers locker room. But it’s an interesting thing to look at nonetheless.