Why the Detroit Lions should sign safety Eric Reid

Eric Reid, Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Eric Reid, Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Eric Reid could be the talented veteran leader this Detroit Lions’ defensive unit needs

There weren’t a lot of people more excited to see safety Eric Reid return to the NFL in 2018 than Eli Harold. The former Detroit Lions‘ linebacker was teammates with Reid in San Francisco. Harold was excited to see Reid return to the football field as he suggested the veteran safety was blackballed like quarterback Colin Kaepernick when both protested the national anthem.

While Reid did see his football dreams stay alive when he was signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2018, he was surprisingly released this offseason one year into a three-year extension. The Panthers appeared to be willing to eat $5 million in dead salary cap space by dropping Reid after he received a lowly 46.6 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his play last year.

Could Eric Reid experience a career resurgence with the Detroit Lions?

If Reid is willing to sign a cheap deal, it may be worth it for Lions general manager Bob Quinn and company to take chance on a player who was once considered one of the best safeties in the league for the better half of last decade. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season (2013), after picking off four passes and breaking up 11 more.

In his career, Reid has 98 starts, 11 interceptions, three forced fumbles and 519 combined tackles in his seven years in the league, being one of the more feared members of that 49ers defense that dominated not that long ago.

While it’s crazy to think that Reid can return to his form from his rookie season (four interceptions and 11 pass break-ups leading to a Pro Bowl selection), being Reid is just 28 years old, there has to be plenty of good football left in the tank.

At the very least, Reid could be a mentor to a young Tracy Walker, who may be due for a breakout season. Lions fans would certainly love to see him play like Reid did his rookie season.

Reid could fit well into the Lions’ culture. He could add some toughness to this Lions’ roster and can give some young pass defenders from his successful years with the top-notch Niners defense.

You can never have too much depth in the NFL, especially when it comes to the secondary, as the Lions seem to experience injury problems with that unit every season. Reid would give the Lions another safety to compete for a starting spot alongside Duron Harmon and Jayron Kearse.

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With a new situation around him and a group of young players in need of a few veteran leaders, Eric Reid could rejuvenate his career with the Detroit Lions and potentially become an X-Factor for this unproven group of defenders.