The Cincinnati Bengals are still looking for safety help as they are hosting a visit with former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid.
According to Ian Rapoport, the Cincinnati Bengals are looking to bring in former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid. New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and the Bengals were aggressively trying to pursue safety, Kurt Coleman, earlier this offseason and are now looking at Reid as a possible signing. This will be the first visit that Reid has received and by waiting the Bengals could sign him for a much more team friendly contract instead of trying to grab him the first day of free agency.
Many fans and players feel that teams are not looking at Reid and giving him the same treatment as his former teammate quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Reid was a big part of the kneeling protest which made many owners stay clear of him. He was a big part of a Player Coalition, a group of players wanting to fight for social justice, and negotiated a deal with owners worth $89 million to fund projects at a national and local level.
Reid was a first-round pick for the 49ers in the 2013 draft and made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. During his five-years with the team, Reid has led the club in interceptions with 10, second in games started with 69, and tackles with 264. Due to backup safety Jaquiski Tartt becoming a promising versatile safety at either free or strong, he looks to be a cheaper option than re-signing Reid this offseason.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN ranked Reid as the 18th best free agent to hit the market this offseason. He’s an extremely versatile safety that can play either free or strong. Reid spent his first four years with the 49ers as a free safety. In 2017, he was asked to step up and play linebacker as the team released fellow 49er linebacker, NaVorro Bowman. Reid stepped into the role and while not having any experience at the position he rated surprising well at the position according to Pro Football Focus. He was later asked to move to strong safety after an injury in the secondary.
Reid continued to take on new roles playing strong safety for the rest of the season showing off how versatile he could be. He was a missile coming down for tackles against the run game and short passing routes. In 2017, Reid earned his best grade by PFF overall with an 81.4 grade topping his Pro Bowl rookie season grade. The former LSU safety also ranked as the 10th best strong safety in the league according to Bleacher Report following his 2017 performance.
The Bengals could really use some playmaking and versatile abilities in their secondary and signing a top name in free agency before the draft is another step in the right direction. This would be another hole that is filled allowing them to focus on bigger needs in the draft and fewer holes mean less picks needed, which allows the team better opportunities to bundle picks to move up in the draft. Cincinnati needs quality picks more than quantity, and if they sign Reid, that’s another step in that direction.