Panthers’ Torrey Smith says Eric Reid ‘being locked down’ because of protests

They are former teammates with the San Francisco 49ers. Both players have not been afraid to hold back when it comes to discussing the issues that seemingly divide the United States. One is employed. The other isn’t.

Recently acquired by the Carolina Panthers from Philadelphia, veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith has an interesting take on why 49ers free agent safety Eric Reid remains unemployed.


Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past two years, Reid’s name has become synonymous with the Colin Kaepernick-led National Anthem protests that started back in August of 2016. Much like Kaepernick, Reid remains unemployed as lesser players at his position continue to be signed.

Reid made headlines back in 2016 by sharing in the anthem protests with then teammate Colin Kaepernick. He continued those protests into the 2017 season, even with Kaepernick not suiting up for the red and gold.

A first-round pick out of LSU back in 2013, Reid earned a Pro Bowl nod with San Francisco as a rookie. He started 69 of 70 games in which he appeared in San Francisco during his five seasons with the team.

As to where Smith might have a point here, it’s important to note that the safety market has been slow to develop during free agency. A ton of similar players at this position remain unsigned. It’s a bit different than a player in Kaepernick who is claiming that NFL owners have colluded against him.

Based on recent quarterback moves, Kaepernick might have a case. The same really can’t be said for Reid.