Kurtenbach: Eric Reid could be blackballed by the NFL, but he’s not going to stop protesting

SANTA CLARA – Eric Reid should have possibilities this winter.

The important thing word in that sentence is should.

Playing from the final 12 months of his deal, the soon-to-be 26-year-old basic safety is inching closer to his first cost-free company knowledge.

Reid would like to say with the San Francisco 49ers – Niners head mentor Kyle Shanahan mentioned Wednesday that he’d like Reid being aspect of his team’s long-term prepare – but should the 2 events not agree on a new contract within the coming weeks, Reid will hit the open up industry in March.

That should be an remarkable time for Reid. Normally, a young, intelligent, versatile defensive back who is a leader in the locker area and who offers a demonstrated history of accomplishment would have numerous suitors and sign a big-money contract with a lot of assured funds which will established him and his family up for all times.

Yet again: should.

But Reid is not just every other defensive back – he’s for the vanguard of the motion that which has engulfed the NFL narrative and thrown the country into a frenzy of bombast – so there’s a real danger that Reid will find exactly the same fate as his previous teammate Colin Kaepernick, who has been blackballed through the NFL.

“I’m knowledgeable of it. I do know it is a possibility. [But] I realized what I signed up for after i started out carrying out this,” Reid reported Wednesday, a few days after arguably his most effective game of your time.

Make no mistake, whilst Reid has not discovered the identical notoriety as his former teammate, but you cannot inform Kaepernick’s story without together with Reid.

When Kaepernick and previous Eco-friendly Beret Nate Boyer came up with all the concept of taking a knee, as a substitute of sitting down, throughout the countrywide anthem to protest racial inequality and law enforcement brutality from minorities, Reid was sitting down with the desk with them.

When Kaepernick first started off using a knee on Sept. one, 2016, right before a preseason game in opposition to the Chargers, Reid did the same.

And since Kaepernick isn’t any for a longer period component of your NFL, Reid stands in as the thoughtful, reasoned voice for the movement the former 49ers’ quarterback started out.

Reid is absolutely aware that his activism could value him his task – that he could be “Kaepernicked” this upcoming offseason.

It does not make a difference that Reid can be a basic safety who is capable of properly actively playing for the line of scrimmage when also having the instincts and skillset to perform over-the-top in protectionsomething which lots of teams could use during this period of soccer – his position in the anthem protests might be the 1st and last thing groups take a look at on his resume.

Nonetheless, the protests go on, undeterred.

“I feel it’s the correct matter to accomplish, when i seem back on my life, once i search back on my career, I will truly feel confident that i did the proper matter,” Reid mentioned. “So if I’m not during the league next 12 months, there will become a course of action I’ll go through… My focus goes to get to finish this period. If I enter free of charge agency and I’m not on the staff subsequent 12 months, I’ll weigh all my selections, lawfully, what have you.”

Reid has famous what Kaepernick has performed inside the wake of his ostracization, but conditions will dictate how he handles his predicament – should it occur. Kaepernick filed a match in October professing NFL entrepreneurs colluded to help keep him out of the league. That situation is pending and could have significant ramifications on Reid’s free company search. (Let alone around the league as a whole.)

Nonetheless it cannot be said more than enough how serious the threat of being blackballed is for Reid. For the incredibly the very least, should he turn into a cost-free agent, his marketplace are going to be constrained by some teams who’re not interested in signing a vocal leader of Kaepernick’s motion, either because of politics or a feasible community relations fallout, which means he’s likely to produce less money than had he not protested.

Contemplate it: Reid may be a superb player who could make any group improved, but when Kaepernick can’t land a job enjoying by far the most critical situation in specialist sports activities, when Josh Johnson, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Nassib, and Joe Webb are signed to active rosters in-season, there’s no cause to believe a safety (irrespective of how proficient he may be) is above the fray.

Maybe it is all moot – most likely Reid as well as Niners should be able to come to terms on a new deal shortly.

Probably yet another crew which has no challenge with their players protesting for the duration of the anthem will move up and indication Reid towards the deal he justifies. (Seattle is actually a group that arrives to brain.)

But Reid should have selections this offseason, plus the notion that he might not, all because he exercised his first amendment rights within an hard work to promote “equality for everybody” should bring everyone pause.

Plus the actuality that he is standing robust in his beliefs, despite that actual danger, should inform you everything you may need to grasp about Reid and his convictions.