How free agent Eric Reid could fit in with the New York Jets in 2020

Seth Everett

If whoever is reading this can tell the future and knows if Jets safety Jamal Adams will be in a New York uniform come September, then the relevance of this article will vary based on that clairvoyant information. There has been speculation, too much of it truthfully, that the Jets could move Adams should a long-term deal for the All-Pro safety not be probable or plausible.

Which means that the Jets could be in the market for a safety if a trade does materialize.

In all likelihood, the Jets wouldn’t make a move at this juncture but if something too good to be true came along and made management pause and consider, then the Jets would need to add a veteran safety in free agency. Enter Eric Reid.

Name: Eric Reid, Safety

Profile: The on the field story of Reid is only half of this story. Reid was drafted out of LSU in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He made the Pro Bowl his rookie season. He started for the 49ers through the 2017 season when they released him. He then joined the Carolina Panthers until his release this past March.

Reid was the second player in 2016 to kneel during the national anthem to highlight social awareness and racial injustice towards black people. He aligned with his 49ers teammate and friend Colin Kaepernick in starting a movement that picked up momentum throughout the NFL. In May 2018, Reid filed an official grievance letter with the NFL alleging that team owners and the league, influenced by President Donald Trump, colluded to prevent his employment due to his protest activities.

2019 Stats: He has 11 career interceptions and 43 career pass deflections over his career, which ranks seventh among NFL safeties since 2013. Last season, Reid recorded 120 tackles and four sacks, six pass deflections, and, the most tackles and sacks by a Panthers safety in a single season in franchise history. He also tallied six pass deflections, seven tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.

2019 Salary and Contract: Reid signed a three-year, $22 million contract extension with the Panthers in February of 2019. He was surprisingly released after the first season.

The Fit: Reid has been rumored to have drawn interest from the Houston Texans where his brother has been a starter for the last two seasons.

Still, the talk about Reid is that he will not command more than a one-year deal. This is where Adams comes into play. If Adams does get traded anywhere, the talk has been that the Jets are looking for a first and a third-round draft pick in return. That would mean, that a player like Reid could slide in and be a veteran presence as the Jets develop rookie Ashtyn Davis, taken in the third round. Reid makes football sense only if Adams is traded (and no one is saying or implying that he is).

When Reid was with the Panthers, their ownership stated both at his signing and his release that the moves were purely football decisions. With the Jets, it should be no different.

In the immediate as well as when it comes to upside, Adams is clearly the better long-term prospect. But if Adams is dealt, it’s a money deal and could clearly slide-in as bridge player in the secondary. He clearly could be an impact addition both on the field and off.

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