Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid visited with the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday leaving without a contract.
The Cincinnati Bengals met with former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid on Monday in search of a versatile safety in their secondary. It seems that Reid left without a contract. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, much of it stemmed from owner Mike Brown wanting to prohibit kneeling during the anthem in 2018.
Over the years, the Bengals have worked with players who have had issues with alleged criminal activities. When it comes to kneeling during the anthem, which is not illegal nor is it a violation of any rules in the NFL, Brown looks to draw the line.
According to Florio, Brown met with Reid when he visited the Bengals on Monday and wanted to discuss the kneeling during the anthem. It seems the conversation revolved around the subject as Brown told Reid that he was looking to prohibit kneeling in the future and asked for his response on the matter.
Reid who had stated last month that he was not planning on kneeling this season was not willing to make a final decision on the matter. He is considering other methods to bring attention to issues in society but was not willing to say that he absolutely will not kneel.
After Reid met with Brown, he went through a physical with the team and spent time with coaches reviewing the film. Working with defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and a couple other coaches that are very interested in signing him after not being able to get a deal done with safety Kurt Coleman, he got a good feel for what the Bengals were wanting.
Later, head coach Marvin Lewis revisited the question about kneeling during the anthem with Reid and Reid had no further clarifications regarding the issue. The meeting soon concluded with Reid leaving without a deal. Lewis spoke on the issue later.
“We are about playing football. They have other agendas this is not the place to be. On Sunday for us & throughout the week in the building, it’s about football.”
It seems interesting for a team like the Bengals to draw the line in the sand at kneeling but is willing to work with players that have been charged with actual crimes and are consistent problems on the field as well. Regardless, the team will continue their search for a versatile safety and can still revisit looking at Reid following the draft if they feel they couldn’t find the right talent there.