Eric Reid files collusion grievance against NFL

The two men who were at the forefront of the anthem protests now each have collusion grievances against the NFL.

Free-agent safety Eric Reid has filed a collusion grievance, seven weeks to the day after becoming a free agent.

Reid’s free-agency experience consisted of a visit to the Bengals. As PFT reported at the time, owner Mike Brown sought a commitment from Reid that he wouldn’t protest during the anthem, but Reid declined to provide one. Reid thereafter did not receive an offer.

The fact that Reid’s grievance follows Kaepernick’s means that Reid will have access to the same evidence generated in Kaepernick’s case, especially since both men are represented by Mark Geragos. Now that the group of players using the legal process to push back against the NFL’s position has doubled, it’s impossible to rule out other players who believed that they are being damaged as part of a coordinated effort by the league to shun them doing the same.

Most of Gates’ highlights came on passes from Philip Rivers, who offered his own thoughts about Gates’ departure from the team. Rivers said he “couldn’t be more thankful” for the chance to play with Gates, who caught 87 touchdowns from Rivers. The 86th gave them one more than the Steve Young-Jerry Rice tandem and only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison have hooked up for more scores.

“That is special,” Rivers said. “Speaking from a selfish standpoint, I don’t know where I’d be without him. If he hadn’t been here for 14 years, I don’t know what my career is like. You’re talking about a pretty unique opportunity to be paired with the best tight end who has more touchdowns than anybody. And then I’m able to share in many of them. It’s awesome, and that part is important. It’s great to have something we can share together. That part is cool and special to both of us. When you see the names like Young and Rice, Peyton and Marvin, and you see Rivers and Gates; that is special.”broncos_001_80192e557a8429c8-180x180

Eric Reid Asked About National Anthem Protests During Bengals Meeting

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown reportedly asked safety Eric Reid about his protests during the national anthem in the past and said he planned to ban Bengals players from participating in them in the future during Reid’s free-agent visit with the team, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Florio wrote:

Brown’s reported comments to Reid certainly lend credence to the theory that players like Kaepernick are being blackballed by the NFL owners for political reasons.

And Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins suspects Reid would already be signed were it not for his protests in the past, per Tim McManus of ESPN.com:

Setting aside personal opinions on whether it’s proper or improper to use the anthem as a mechanism for protest, as a matter of labor and employment law, it’s proper for players to choose to protest during the anthem. Which means that, as a matter of labor and employment law, it’s not proper for the NFL or its teams to hold protesting during the anthem against any player who chooses to protest.

Which also means that there’s no legitimate reason whatsoever for any owner, G.M., or coach to interrogate a potential employee/player on whether he will or won’t kneel. Which means that, if it happens, it’s necessarily illegitimate — no different than asking potential employees about religious beliefs, national origin, and (for female employees, obviously) whether they are or plan to become pregnant.

Again, collusion is just a fancy word for coordination. If the teams have collectively decided, possibly with the league office as the conduit, that players who are most closely identified with kneeling (like Kaepernick and Reid) are bad for business despite the fact that kneeling can’t be prohibited, that’s a problem.la_kings_001