With the March 13 free agency period looming, the main question on every Panthers fan’s mind is the resigning of safety Eric Reid.
Recent free agent pickup Da’Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve after suffering his second concussion Week 2. After watching the play of Colin Jones and rookie safety Rashaan Gaulden in the Week 3 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, it was obvious there were some concerns at the position.
Reid was the main target on several coaches’ wish list. After meeting with both his former team the San Francisco 49ers, he also met with his former rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, who were looking to fill a void with Kam Chancellor going down with a season-ending injury.
After both of those visits failed to solidify a contract, Reid met with the Carolina Panthers. In spite of the controversy surrounding Reid and his participation in the national anthem protests, Carolina Panthers owner Dave Tepper pulled the trigger on signing the former first-round pick.
“I thought it was a good decision,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “And, again, it was a football decision.”
It turned out to be the right decision. Reid made his Carolina Panthers debut in Week 5 against the New York Giants, logging 3 tackles.
His first interception came in Week 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the first quarter, on the opening drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick overthrew Mike Evans and the ball fell into the waiting arms of Eric Reid, who with great blocking returned it all the way to the Tampa Bay nine yardline to set up Carolina’s first touchdown of the game.
His performance improved and his role grew as the season went on. He finished the 2018 season with 71 total tackles, 50 solo tackles, a sack, one interception, and five pass deflections.
After Reid finishing the 2018 season with decent numbers despite having missed a whole season of football, along with Carolina’s needs in the secondary, chances are high that Eric Reid will get a new contract and return to start for the Panthers in 2019.