Panthers sign safety Reid

Eric Reid left and Colin Kaepernick #7 kneel in protest during the national anthem while playing for the San Francisco 49ers

And that's because Reid joined former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest social injustice and police brutality.

"Eric Reid is a Pro-Bowl calibre safety, 26 years old with a first-round pedigree", Smith said, per the Charlotte Observer.

It's unclear if Reid plans to continue his protests when he begins playing for the Panthers.

Upset over his free agent status in the offseason, Reid accused teams of blackballing him because he participated in the protests during the anthem.

Despite widely being considered one of the better safeties available on the free-agent market, Reid had gone unsigned until this point.

Panthers general manager Mary Hurney said he wasn't concerned about Reid's past protests, telling The Associated Press it was a "football decision" - and one that was approved by new owner David Tepper.

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The Panthers were in need of a proven safety because veteran Da'Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve after suffering his second concussion in a month. He's a very physical player who has good ball skills and really good playmaking ability. Reid continued to protest through last season. In May, Reid filed a collusion grievance against the NFL alleging he has been kept out of the league due to his political stance.

The Panthers have a bye this week and next play at home on October 7 against the New York Giants. "I told you the reason we chose to go that direction is because we made a tough decision, but we had to do it. It would be plausible for two teams to conspire against Reid and then a third team signed him". "Excited to see him get out there on the field and be the impact player we all know he is", Stills added.

The Panthers were listed at No. 5 on NFL.com's power rankings this week. "People who know me, know my character". "I think we're going to take a different approach to how we're going to be active".

The Panthers (2-1) are on their bye week.

Reid, who according to Hurney is in "pretty fantastic shape", helps the Panthers immediately, joining a defensive backfield that features third-year cornerback James Bradberry, rookie cornerback Donte Jackson and veteran safety Mike Adams.

Eric Reid, left, kneeled during with the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick, right.

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