© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Former 49ers safety Eric Reid has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, according to ESPN.
Source: Former 49ers safety Eric Reid has filed a collusion grievance against the NFL. Reid’s attorney is Mark Geragos, who’s also represented Colin Kaepernick. https://t.co/8MaBD0cC0k
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) May 2, 2018
Reid is still unsigned after he became a free agent in March. The growing sentiment is that Reid remains unemployed because of his on-field protesting against racial discrimination and police brutality. The protests began early in the 2016 season, when he kneeled for the National Anthem alongside former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started the movement that swept throughout the NFL during the 2017 season.
Kaepernick filed a similar collusion grievance last October. The case is still transpiring. Both Reid and Kaepernick have the same representation via Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas of Geragos & Geragos.
According to Sports Illustrated, collusion occurs when “two or more teams or the league and at least one team, join to deprive a player of a contractually earned right. Such a right is normally found in the collective bargaining agreement signed by a league and its players’ association.”
The NFL Player’s Association acknowledged ESPN’s report and released a statement regarding Reid’s grievance.
“Our union is aware that Eric Reid and his legal representatives filed a collusion claim, which will be heard through the arbitration process as spelled out in our collective bargaining agreement,” the NFLPA stated Wednesday morning. “Our union supports Eric and we are considering other legal options to pursue.”
Nearly a month ago, Reid met with the Cincinnati Bengals, seemingly a positive first step as he sought new teams. But owner Mike Brown ‘almost exclusively’ centered the conversation around Reid’s protesting, with Brown reportedly saying he would ‘prohibit it.’ Reid wasn’t prepared to commit on the spot.
The 26-year-old spent all five of his career seasons as a key contributor for the 49ers after they selected him in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was named to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year. Reid produced 67 tackles and two interceptions last year.
NFL teams have been noticeably slow to act on the safety free agent market this year. Reid and Kenny Vaccaro are the two biggest safety names still unsigned.
49ers general manager John Lynch hasn’t completely ruled out re-signing Reid, stating earlier this offseason that if there was a roster fit for the safety after the draft, the 49ers would entertain the possibility.