Reid was the first player to kneel alongside Kaepernick more than two years ago to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality. What's clear, however, is that Reid's comeback raises questions about Kaepernick's future, and it will undoubtedly have an effect on the players' upcoming arbitration hearings. The team just placed safety Da'Norris Searcy on injured reserve last week after he suffered multiple concussions in a short time, so Reid will likely start immediately.
"Eric has been a starting safety in the National Football League and has played at a high level throughout his career", general manager Marty Hurney said.
Upset over his free agent status in the offseason, Reid accused teams of blackballing him because he participated in the protests during the anthem.
Reid, whose 49ers contract expired in March, is at the center of a lawsuit, filed by the NFLPA, alleging NFL owners colluded against him, refusing to sign him because he had knelt during the national anthem over the past two seasons.
Carolina's decision to sign Reid aligns pretty well with a new ownership group that seems to be forward-thinking and inclusive. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate as a rookie and was named to the All-Rookie Team.
The 49ers reportedly made a run at bringing Reid back into the fold before the safety decided on Carolina.
The NFL Players Association also congratulated Reid, with its president, Eric Winston, saying, "Our union is proud to stand by one of its strongest player leaders and we congratulate Eric for making it back to dong the job he loves". If it's something where [general manager Marty Hurney or coach Ron Rivera] come and talk to me about him, I'll be glad to talk about him as a player and as a person. So to say that [they aren't patriotic] makes me so aggravated and angry. "He deserves it and it's not right what's happened to him".