Eric Reid signs three-year Panthers contract; Colin Kaepernick still unsigned


Eric Reid signs three-year Panthers contract; Colin Kaepernick still unsigned

Eric Reid didn't have to wait nearly as long for a contract this time around. 

The former 49ers safety signed a three-year contract extension with the Carolina Panthers on Monday, the team announced. The deal is worth up to $24 million, NFL.com's Mike Silver reported. 

Reid became a free agent last year after the 49ers did not re-sign him following the 2017 season. He did not sign with the Panthers until Sept. 27, just ahead of Week 4, for reasons that might or might not have had much to do with his ability to play football.

The 27-year-old was the first player to kneel alongside then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem in order to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Reid remained vocal on social-justice issues in San Francisco after Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract ahead of the 2017 season, and then in Carolina last season.

Despite the murmurs about Reid's activism being a "distraction," he posted 71 combined tackles -- the second-most of his career -- in just 13 games. Veteran Panthers tackle Matt Kalil called Reid an "incredible teammate." and apparently it wasn't enough of a distraction to prevent the Panthers from making a multi-year commitment to Reid.

Kaepernick -- whose 49ers teammates awarded him the Len Eshmont Award in 2016 -- was never afforded the same opportunity. 

The QB has been unsigned for nearly two years since he opted out with the 49ers, who ultimately would've released Kaepernick if he hadn't. Reid's signing indicates his vocal activism for social and racial justice wasn't a problem, so why does it seem to be one for Kaepernick?

He -- and his lawyer -- would argue it's a result of collusion among NFL owners bowing to political pressure from the White House. Kaepernick formally filed a grievance against the league in 2017, and a hearing reportedly was scheduled for early this year.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell argued ahead of Super Bowl LIII that a team would have signed Kaepernick if they thought he could "help their team win," -- after teams signed quarterbacks who hadn't. Coaches have expressed concerns about Kaepernick's ability to fit in their offenses ... after signing QBs who didn't. 

No collusion? Next, NFL owners might have you believe they're victims of a witch hunt. 

Why 49ers could be interested in adding Taylor Gabriel to receiver mix

Why 49ers could be interested in adding Taylor Gabriel to receiver mix

When the 49ers signed wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on the first day of free agency in 2017, coach Kyle Shanahan envisioned using him in a role similar to what he designed previously for Taylor Gabriel.

Now, Goodwin’s time with the 49ers appears to be coming to an end at the same time that Gabriel is set to become available. The Bears on Friday released Gabriel.

Gabriel was scheduled to make $5.5 million this season with the Chicago Bears for the 2020 season. Goodwin is on the books to cost the 49ers $4.5 million this year and is expected to be released in a cost-cutting move.

The 49ers could look to replace Goodwin with Gabriel, who has a valuation of $1.864 million, according to OverTheCap.com. But the move would have to be a low-risk deal, as Gabriel missed the final five games of last season after sustaining his second concussion of the season.

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Gabriel, 29, played in nine games for the Bears last season. He caught 29 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns. If the 49ers have interest in Gabriel, it would be to add him to the roster to compete for a spot as a part-time player to stretch the field.

Gabriel had the two highest yards-per-reception averages of his career with Shanahan calling the plays. In 2014 with the Cleveland Browns, Gabriel caught 36 passes for 621 yards (17.3-yard average). And in 2016, he caught 35 passes for 579 yards (16.5 average).

Bay Area Target selling posters with 49ers as Super Bowl 54 champions

Bay Area Target selling posters with 49ers as Super Bowl 54 champions

No, the 49ers didn’t win Super Bowl LIV. But you wouldn’t know it if you shopped at a local Bay Area Target.

A Target store in Livermore was selling posters commemorating the 49ers as Super Bowl Champions as recently as Feb. 17, according to Niners Nation’s Alex Tran.

Of course, San Francisco collapsed in the fourth quarter, giving up 21 unanswered points to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-20 back on Feb. 2.

But according to these alternate-reality posters, that collapse never happened.

Perhaps in this world, Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher was called for holding 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa on that infamous third-and-15 completion that jumpstarted Kansas City’s comeback.

Perhaps Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones didn’t get his hand up in time to bat down what looked to be an easy pitch-and-catch completion from Jimmy Garoppolo to George Kittle to extend a key 49ers’ drive.

Perhaps Garoppolo put a little less air under his overthrown deep ball to Emmanuel Sanders with less than two minutes left, all but ending the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes.

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Alas, weeks later, 49ers fans are still thinking in these “what ifs” while the Chiefs bask in their glorious Super Bowl hangover.

If only those Target posters were representative of real life.