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The Latest: Players express support of Reid’s signing

September 27, 2018
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FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. The Carolina Panthers have signed free agent safety Eric Reid to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not announced Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the Eric Reid signing with the Carolina Panthers (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Patriots safety Devin McCourty says he’s pleased that Eric Reid has signed with the Carolina Panthers and hopes that quarterback Colin Kaepernick might continue his career at some point, too.

McCourty said Thursday that Reid “is a great player. A guy that I think we’ve all watched over the last couple of years go out and make plays. A starter since Day 1 in this league.”

McCourty, who is a member of the Players Coalition, hopes that Reid’s return is an indication that Kaepernick “gets signed” and is allowed to continue his NFL career as well.

McCourty was one of several players around the NFL who expressed support for Reid, including Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and defensive end Michael Bennett. Bennett says, “it’s about time.”

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3 p.m.

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills says he’s excited to see Eric Reid back in the NFL, and knows his good friend Colin Kaepernick is ready to return, too.

Reid has signed with the Panthers and Stills says he spoke to Kaepernick on the phone Thursday.

Stills, who protested social and racial injustice himself by kneeling during the national anthem in Miami’s season opener against Tennessee on Sept. 9, says the former NFL quarterback had just completed a workout to stay in shape. Stills says Kaepernick “wants to play. He’s good enough to play. He deserves to play.”

Stills says he doesn’t “see why a team won’t sign him, or hasn’t signed him.”

Reid and Kaepernick participated in protests during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to highlight social awareness and racial injustice.

Stills describes Reid as an impact player who should have been signed the first day of free agency. He says, “It’s a long time coming.”

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2:25 p.m.

Browns running back Carlos Hyde, who played with Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco, was stunned to hear Reid had been signed by the Panthers.

When told after practice Thursday, Hyde responded, “For real?”

Hyde went on to say he’s happy for Reid and “it’s been too long” since the safety played in the NFL. Hyde says that “I kind of felt like they was doing him the same way they were doing (Kaepernick), so it’s good to see E-Reid got signed.”

Reid and Kaepernick participated in protests during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to highlight social awareness and racial injustice.

Hyde believes an NFL team should sign Kaepernick next.

Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry also was thrilled to hear that his former LSU teammate has a new start in the NFL saying he’s “a guy who works hard” and has been productive in this league.

Landry says as the national anthem saga dragged on, he feared Reid might not get another chance.

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1:50 p.m.

Texans rookie safety Justin Reid said he’s thrilled his older brother Eric Reid is back in the NFL and is “immensely proud” of what he stands for “in trying to have a voice for the voiceless.”

Justin Reid said he planned to call his brother to congratulate him after practice Thursday on signing a one-year deal with Carolina.

When asked if he thinks his brother was not signed earlier by NFL teams because of his decision to protest social and racial injustice during the national anthem, Justin Reid said “I’m going to try and defer away from that.” The younger Reid said he wants to stay focused on football and helping the Texans win their first game.

Justin Reid said his brother is in good shape and has stayed prepared for this opportunity to rejoin the NFL. He said the Panthers “just got better having him on their squad.”

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1:20 p.m.

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has offered congratulations on Twitter to former San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid after Reid signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Kaepernick posted Thursday on Twitter that Reid is a “social justice warrior (who) continues to support his family and communities in need.” He said Reid was the first person who knelt alongside him for the national anthem, which was done to highlight racial and social injustice.

Kaepernick added that Reid is an “all pro safety who should have been signed the 1st day of free agency.”

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11:45 a.m.

Eric Reid is back in the NFL.

The Panthers have signed the free agent safety to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not announced Thursday.

Reid filed an official grievance letter with the NFL in October of 2017, alleging that team owners and the league colluded to prevent his employment due to his protest activities. Reid, along with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, participated in protests during the playing of the national anthem before NFL games to highlight social awareness and racial injustice.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney told The Associated Press it was a “football decision” that was approved by new owner David Tepper.

Reid is expected to start right away after the Panthers placed Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve last week.

The Panthers have a bye this week.

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