Update (March 19, 2020): The Carolina Panthers released outspoken strong safety Eric Reid Wednesday, despite signing him to a three-year, $22 million extension last February. 

According to ESPN, the 28-year-old was scheduled to count $8 million against the Panthers salary cap, and releasing him will save them $3 million in cap space, including “$5.5 million with a post-June 1 designation.”

Reid, who has produced fairly well on the field, has been outspoken about the league’s involvement, or lack thereof, in social issues and is a close friend of Colin Kaepernick. He was the first person to kneel alongside Kaepernick when the former San Franciso 49ers quarterback began his protest against police brutality in August 2016 by sitting down during the national anthem. 

Reid and Kaepernick sued the NFL for collusion in 2018. The suit was settled in March of 2019 with Kaepernick and Reid reportedly receiving less than $10 million each. A few months later, the safety lambasted Jay-Z for partnering with the NFL, as Blavity previously reported

"Interesting timing on the partnership with Jay-Z on the heels of Stephen Ross’ fundraiser for Donald Trump and the backlash his other companies are getting because of it. #PayAttentionFolks," the Baton Rouge native wrote in an August 2019 post.



Reid said he had a good run with his team in response to the public announcement on Twitter on Wednesday.

"It’s been a pleasure Carolina! I enjoyed my time and the support I received from the fans, media, teammates, and staff there will be remembered," he wrote. "Looking forward to furthering my career in another city!"



Reid wasn't the only one to be released from his contract. On Tuesday, quarterback Cam Newton was relieved of this contract. Safety Colin Jones, tight end Greg Olsen and guard Trai Turner were also let go, ESPN reports. 

Original story (February 11, 2019): Eric Reid has signed a new $22 million deal with the Carolina Panthers and insists that it’s further proof of the NFL’s underhanded actions.

Last year, Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick individually sued the NFL for collusion, as Blavity reported, accusing the league of conspiring to deny both men opportunities to play professional football in retaliation for their political activism. Kaepernick began the #TakeAKnee movement to protest police brutality; Reid, Kaep's former teammate, joined the quarterback in his protest.

Reid signing the lucrative deal might seem to invalidate his claim. Instead, the safety says the timing and size of the signing prove he was once blacklisted.

“[Last year] I didn’t sign until the [fourth] week and did for almost the league minimum," Reid said according to MarketWatch. "And this year I signed a more substantial contract. And nothing has changed. I’m still the same player.”

In September 2018, Reid signed to the Panthers in a one-year deal worth only $1.69 million for the Panthers, NFL.com notes. Reid wants to know why he is in demand now that some of the furor around kneeling during the anthem has faded.

At the time, general manager Marty Hurney said, “Eric has been a starting safety in the NFL and has played at a high level throughout his career. After we put [safety] Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve, Ron [Rivera] and I discussed our options, and Eric was at the top of our list."

"He is a physical safety with good ball skills and play-making ability," he continued.

Before being signed to Carolina, Reid spent a full year as a free agent. Kaepernick has remained a free agent since the end of his time in the NFL in 2016.

Reid said his suit against the NFL would continue, and he doesn't think the $22 million contract is an olive branch. He also said he doesn’t believe a deal is on the horizon for his friend and fellow activist Colin Kaepernick.

“Knowing what I know my hope tank is on E [empty],” Reid said.