49ers Eric Reid says Kaepernick points to issues 'bigger than football'
Safety Eric Reid said Friday he’ll head into free agency well aware that his anthem protest could affect his value on the open market.
Reid has knelt during every national anthem ceremony this season, continuing the protest quarterback Colin Kaepernick began in 2016 to raise awareness about racial inequity, especially instances of police brutality in minority communities. Kaepernick became a free agent last year and no team signed him to a contract or even invited him for a workout.
Reid has been in close contact with Kaepernick, who now lives in New York, throughout the year and at one point was one of the player representatives who discussed anthem and social justice matters with NFL owners.
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘concerned.’ I’d say I understand that that’s a possibility,” Reid said Friday when asked if he’s worried the protests would diminish his free-agent value. “And I’m completely fine with that. The things that I’ve done, I stand by. And I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said I’m fine with whatever outcome comes because of that.”
Reid was a first-round pick in 2013 who seemed to find his ideal spot this year at strong safety in the 49ers’ Seattle Seahawks-like defense. However, when Reid returned to the lineup in October after missing three games with a knee injury, his starting position had been taken over by Jaquiski Tartt, suggesting that the team has earmarked Tartt for strong safety next year. Reid returned to the starting lineup at strong safety after Jimmie Ward was lost for the season with a broken arm and Tartt began playing free safety.
Based on his play alone, Reid should have plenty of suitors. He turned 26 this month and several other teams use the same defense the 49ers employed this year. He has experience at both free safety and strong safety and has played under four different defensive coordinators. He even lined up at inside linebacker at times this season.
Kyle Shanahan said he hasn’t spoken to any of the team’s soon-to-be free agents and that that process likely would begin on Monday. The 49ers have signed only one player, nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams, to a contract extension during the season.
Reid said he’s concentrating on Sunday’s finale in Los Angeles but that he’s open to coming back.
“It’s been fun. It’s been fun to win,” he said of the 2017 season. “We haven’t been doing that for a while, so finally getting some wins on the record just makes coming to work even better.”
Dinged Jaguar – Tempers flared throughout San Francisco’s 44-33 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and the league doled out some monetary fines as a result.
Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue was docked $30,387 for making physical contact with an official. The incident happened at the end of the third quarter, three plays after Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack was penalized for taunting.
Ngakoue was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, and the 49ers ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive. The 49ers players remarked after the game about the Jaguars’ lack of composure.
“I definitely think they were a little frustrated,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk said. “ … I don’t think they were used to a team moving the ball the way we did.”
San Francisco defensive end Cassius Marsh was fined $18,231 for roughing the passer.
Et cetera – The 49ers’ injury report heading into Sunday’s game is empty. Tight end Garrett Celek (knee, rib), safety Adrian Colbert (shoulder), receiver Marquise Goodwin (back) and receiver Trent Taylor (shoulder) were limited in Friday’s practice, but none is listed on the status report.
▪ Jimmy Garoppolo won his second straight Castrol Edge “Clutch” Performer of the Week award, one of the many weekly awards doled out in the NFL. The 49ers quarterback completed 70 percent of his passes in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, threw two touchdowns and had his first NFL rushing score.
▪ Offensive-line coach John Benton opened practice by playing AC/DC’s “Back in Black” on his electric guitar to the delight of players and fellow coaches. “We’ve been playing too much rap out there,” Shanahan said. “Wanted to switch it up, get a little heavy metal, I guess.”