Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins doesn’t think it’s an accident Eric Reid has gone unsigned in free agency.
Per ESPN’s Tim McManus, Jenkins believes Reid hasn’t been signed by a team due to his political activism on and off the football field:
“Absolutely. It would be hard to say that he’s not getting any calls just on talent alone. I think any team that is considering him is going to weigh his political views and the strong stance that he’s taken the last couple years, and that’s unfortunate, but it’s just kind of what it is. So hopefully, teams will look past that and evaluate him as a player, and I think as a player he deserves a spot in this league. But I’d be kidding myself if I said that his stance isn’t playing a role in him not having a call yet.”
Reid was the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in protesting during the national anthem prior to games with the San Francisco 49ers in 2016.
On March 15, the former 49ers safety tweeted that his protests may be impacting his ability to receive a contract offer from teams:
Eric Reid @E_Reid35
The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.
Reid announced Thursday he doesn’t intend to keep kneeling during the national anthem in 2018.
“I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active because I won’t,” he said, via ESPN.com. “I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country and improve on the issues happening in this country.”
He also said a couple of teams have contacted his agent, but no financial figures have been exchanged.
A first-round pick by the 49ers in 2013, Reid started 69 of the 70 games he’s played over the past five seasons. The 26-year-old tied for the team lead with two interceptions and ranked third with 67 tackles in 13 games last season.