In a free agency move that feels like it came out of left field, Eric Reid is no longer a member of the Carolina Panthers. On Wednesday afternoon, the team released the veteran safety after two years with the organization. First the major news on Cam Newton and now this?
Per reports, this came down to the Panthers simply deciding to move ahead in a new direction. So, you're telling us that's all there is to it?
In recent years, Reid has dominated headlines for his continued support of protesting racial injustices in our country. This led to him kneeling during the National Anthem, in which he joined former San Francisco 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick.
The Panthers 'took a chance' by bringing him aboard in 2018, and he surely hasn't disappointed. Last season alone, he recorded 130 total tackles, four sacks, six pass deflections and two fumble recoveries.
Reid, who previously signed a three-year, $22 million deal with Carolina, is only 28. With the Panthers questionably releasing him, they'll now free up a lowly $3 million in cap space. In addition, dropping him results in $5 million in dead money, adding to their already lofty and NFL-high $34.5 million in dead cap money.
This move by the Carolina front office doesn't make a whole ton of sense. Teams will likely jump at the opportunity to sign the standout defensive back now that he's once again a free agent, while the Panthers continue to dig themselves further into a hole in terms of dead money.