After they signed Eric Reid, the Carolina Panthers said numerous times that they liked what the veteran safety brought to their team.
It wasn’t just talk.
Reid, Panthers agree to extension
On Monday, the Panthers announced that the team and Reid have agreed to a three-year contract extension through 2021.
NFL.com’s Michael Silver reported the deal is worth $22 million, with incentives that can increase it to $24 million. At least $10 million is guaranteed.
Picked up by Panthers last season
Carolina signed Reid to a one-year, $2 million contract last September 28, thin at the position after Da’Norris Searcy suffered what turned out to be a season-ending concussion. Though he was young, a first-round pick just a few years earlier and had played well with the San Francisco 49ers, Reid languished on the free-agent market last year; it wasn’t hard to connect the dots between Reid’s open support of his former teammate and good friend, Colin Kaepernick, as well as Reid’s protests during the anthem, and his lack of suitors.
But the Panthers weren’t afraid of any possible backlash they’d face from signing Reid, and he began starting right away. Carolina owner David Tepper, who at the time had only owned the team for a couple of months, had been openly supportive of players’ activism.
In a conference call with reporters after the contract was announced, Reid said loyalty to the Panthers “played a minimal factor” in his decision.
“It’s an interesting aspect in sports, where people wonder how much loyalty plays a part. For me, I don’t see a lot of loyalty in this business — the Panthers could cut me tomorrow, if they wanted to. The fact that they brought me in last year didn’t play that much of a role moving forward,” he said.
But the city of Charlotte, the coaching staff, and of course, the money, did.
“(Being away from family) is probably the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Reid said; his wife and children remained in New Jersey during the season while he was in North Carolina. “I’ve never been away from my family that long, especially my daughters, so it made the season that much more difficult. So I’m excited that this year, they’ll be with me.
“It gives my family peace of mind, knowing what will be the next couple years. I enjoy being here, the city reminds me of where I grew up in Louisiana. It’s low-key here, it’s not too busy … I like the defense, I like the coaching staff, so I’m excited…If I wasn’t satisfied with the contract, I would’ve went into free agency.”
Reid started the final 13 games of the season, with 71 total tackles (50 solo), three tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, and five pass breakups.
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