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Eric Reid reacts to being released by Panthers

Eric Reid, Panthers

The Carolina Panthers released safety, Eric Reid, on Wednesday after he signed a three-year, $22 million deal last offseason.

Reid showed nothing but class in response, thanking the fans and the Panthers organization while also saying he was excited for the journey ahead.

Reid started in all 16 games with the Panthers last season, racking up six pass deflections, 4.0 sacks, and a forced fumble in addition to a career-high seven tackles for a loss.

The move will save the Panthers $3 million in cap space.

Carolina is cleaning house as they prepare for their first season under rookie head coach Matt Rhule. They previously released tight end Greg Olsen and traded guard Trai Turner to the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for Russell Okung.

On Tuesday, the Panthers announced they were allowing franchise quarterback Cam Newton to pursue a trade shortly before they signed free-agent signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal worth $63 million.

The move is not especially surprising, not only because it saves the Panthers some money on the cap, but also because Carolina had inked deals with free-agent safeties Tre Boston and Juston Burris.

Reid’s response is an homage to Panthers owner Dave Tepper, who gave Reid his first chance after the former San Francisco 49ers safety had been shut out from the league after joining former Niners quarterback Colin Kapernick in his “kneeling” protests against social injustice.

The 28-year-old figures to have a decent market because of the relative shortage of quality players at the free safety spot.

Reid is now on the open market.