Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins concerned league is blackballing Eric Reid
Although the NFL’s free agency period just started, the market has nearly been plucked dry of its notable names. Among those still available is former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid.
It is not difficult to pinpoint the reasons behind his current employment status. According to ESPN’s Tim McManus, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins acknowledged that Reid’s protests on the field are why he is still a free agent:
“Absolutely. It would be hard to say that he’s not getting any calls just on talent alone,” Jenkins said. “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.”
When the offseason started, there was speculation that teams would be able to get the former Pro Bowler at a bargain deal due to his “baggage” as one of the first players who had protested during the anthem alongside former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Although Reid has dismissed any notion of getting paid less than what he deserves, he has made it clear that he will no longer be kneeling.
While his decision may not solely be based on the current lack of interest, it has certainly played a major factor. Jenkins has also been one of the more outspoken athletes on issues plaguing society today. His comments indicate that Reid’s situation is not going unnoticed by the rest of the players.