The bad news for the Tennessee Titans is they lost starting safety Johnathan Cyprien to a season-ending knee injury. The good news is there are a few capable safeties still unsigned.
One of those safeties is Eric Reid, the former San Francisco 49ers starter who seems to have been passed over all offseason at least in part because he kneeled during the national anthem with Colin Kaepernick. It reeks of a conspiracy by the league.
Even if the NFL is shunning Reid because he has tried to bring attention to social issues like racial inequality, the Titans might see Reid as the best available option. And coach Mike Vrabel said they would consider him.
Who are the other options for the Titans?
In assessing the potential replacements for Cyprien, who tore his ACL, Titans coach Mike Vrabel acknowledged Reid could be an option according to Jim Wyatt of the team’s site.
Mike Vrabel said the @Titans have talked about safety Eric Reid and he could be brought in for a visit
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) August 2, 2018
On Thursday afternoon, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Titans had officially set up a visit for Reid on Friday.
Other safeties like former New Orleans Saints first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro, who remains unsigned, will also be checked out. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Vaccaro will come in for a visit.
But Vrabel mentioning Reid as an option is noteworthy after Reid’s offseason.
Why hasn’t Eric Reid been signed?
Reid is a good, versatile safety who hasn’t been able to find a job. That might be due in part to the soft market for safeties, but it’s hard to believe Reid’s demonstrations don’t factor in as well.
Reid’s plight came to a head when the Cincinnati Bengals, in what looked like a publicity stunt, brought in Reid for a free-agent visit and then he was accosted by owner Mike Brown about his plans during the anthem. Reid wasn’t signed. The NFL has done plenty of mind-numbing things when it comes to the anthem issue, but that’s in the running for the worst look of all.
Why the Titans’ consideration of Reid is noteworthy
Reid brought a complaint against the Bengals, and an arbitrator recently heard the case.
Reid’s former teammate Kaepernick hasn’t been signed even though he’s better than dozens of quarterbacks who have been signed in the last year-and-a-half. Like Kaepernick, when Reid filed a complaint through the union it seemed like it might hurt whatever chances he had of future employment. The NFL can be as unfair, and it really hates to be called out for it.
That’s what made Vrabel’s mention of Reid newsworthy. Maybe the Titans decide to sign Vaccaro, a good safety in his own right. But any NFL team bringing up the possibility of signing Reid was a bit surprising, given what has happened the past few months.
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