CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid wouldn’t use the words “revenge” or “bitter” to describe his feelings about Sunday’s game against unbeaten San Francisco.
“I just don’t forget,” Reid said Wednesday about facing his former team as the Panthers (4-2) prepared for the 49ers (6-0).
This will be Reid’s first game as an opponent at San Francisco, where he first took a knee with quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and was not re-signed following the 2017 season after filing a collusion grievance against the NFL.
From the end of the 2017 season until the Panthers signed him in late September 2018, Reid went unsigned after the NFLPA filed a grievance on his behalf, accusing the league of blackballing him for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice.
This past offseason, the Panthers signed Reid to a new three-year deal worth slightly more than $22 million. He has kneeled during the anthem before every game at Carolina.
Kaepernick, who also filed a grievance against the NFL, hasn’t played since the 2016 season. Both players’ grievances against the league have been settled.
All of that factors into how Reid feels about the San Francisco organization that made him the 18th pick of the 2013 draft.
“Definitely the way Colin was treated. Definitely the way I feel like I was treated there,” Reid said when talking about his emotions toward the team. “The way they run the organization. Ask anybody who has been there and they’ll tell you the same.”
Reid also wasn’t happy the 49ers moved him from strong safety to a hybrid safety/linebacker position in 2017 to replace linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who was released after the team failed to meet his request for a trade.
“I remember they changed my position in a contract year,” said Reid, selected to the Pro Bowl at safety as a rookie. “I remember they released NaVorro, who led the league in tackles [in 2015], and asked me to play his position.
“They told me it was best for the team. I disagreed. I thought the NFL tackling leader was best for the team, but I did what I was told.”
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — After a whirlwind 24 hours, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders spent Wednesday getting used to his new home with the San Francisco 49ers — one of two undefeated teams remaining in the NFL.
The 49ers acquired Sanders and a 2020 fifth-round pick from the Cheap Denver Broncos Jerseys on Tuesday, sending a 2020 third- and fourth-round pick back in exchange.
About three hours after the deal was complete, Sanders was on a plane to the Bay Area, ready to take a crash course in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Apparently, the new surroundings — namely, going from a two-win team to a six-win team — were much needed.
“It feels good [to be here],” Sanders said Wednesday. “Obviously, I’ve got a lot of love for the Broncos. I spent six years there, won a Super Bowl there and I love that organization. But to be a 49er, it’s like a new energy and new environment. It reminds me of when I left the Steelers and went to the Broncos.
“I needed a change of scenery, and it feels good to have a change of scenery. And what a great locker room the 49ers have here. I’m just trying to come in and bring even more positive energy and bring another spark to this offense.”
After weeks of trade rumors, Sanders said he met with Broncos president/general manager John Elway after a Week 6 win against the Cheap Tennessee Titans Jerseys and they mutually agreed it was time for the receiver to move on.
“Me and John had a conversation in terms of the direction that I wanted to go and me expressing that,” Sanders said. “He listened. And hearing that, hearing the trade rumors, I think we both decided that it was best for me to go. You know, we got two more years left — or three more years left — of playing Cheap Football Jerseys, and I’m trying to win a championship, and obviously, we’ve got a young locker room over there. So we both made the decision that if a trade comes about, that he would keep me posted and possibly trade me.”
Sanders, who is expected to play against the Cheap Carolina Panthers Jerseys on Sunday, went right to work upon arrival in Santa Clara around 9 p.m. Tuesday. Receivers coach Wes Welker, who was a former teammate of Sanders’ in Denver, greeted him at the hotel.
Welker began feeding him information for a few hours before Sanders went to sleep. Sanders woke up at 5 a.m. to take a physical and attend a wideout meeting at 7:20 a.m. before a walkthrough, more meetings and an afternoon practice.
Sanders said Shanahan’s offensive scheme is about 90% the same as what he had in Denver under offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who spent the past two years as the Niners’ quarterbacks coach.
Aside from diving into the playbook, Sanders has had just enough time to meet his new teammates and coaches. Shanahan, in particular, left quite an impression with his choice of footwear.
“Getting here and just seeing how he is, seeing he’s very laid back. Funny guy, light on his toes,” Sanders said. “I noticed in the team meeting. I was like, ‘I can’t wait to get home and tell my wife that the head coach is wearing Yeezys.’ I was like, that’s cool. That’s one cool coach.
“The environment here is just so light, but at the end of the day, we have a concentration and we have a focus on the task at hand. I can tell that his team is a reflection of him, and it’s cool to see.”
Before the Niners and Broncos played last season, Shanahan heaped praise on Sanders. On Wednesday, Shanahan gave further insight into how long he has coveted his new wide receiver.
“Emmanuel has been a guy that I have personally wanted since probably the last eight years, since he became a free agent in Pittsburgh,” Shanahan said. “I was a huge fan of him coming out in the draft and everything he’s done since. … I’m pumped he’s here.”
Shanahan declined to offer any clues on how he will use Sanders, but he did acknowledge Sanders “can do it all” and is versatile enough to play any of the team’s wideout spots.
Scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, Sanders figures to be at least a 10-game rental for the Cheap San Francisco 49ers Jerseys.
“Once I become a free agent, [winning is] going to factor in a lot,” Sanders said. “A lot of people don’t understand. Yeah, the money’s good. I’ve made my fair share of that. I think it’s about happiness. It’s about, ‘Is it worth it?’ … I love playing football. I love being happy. I love playing games. I think that’s going to be the ultimate deciding factor in where I go.”
Carolina coach Ron Rivera said he was not worried about Reid’s emotions being a factor when reminded of the heated exchange between Reid and Malcolm Jenkins during last year’s game at Philadelphia.
An assistant coach and official had to restrain Reid away from the Cheap Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys safety during player introductions. After the game, Reid called Jenkins a “sellout” because Jenkins stopped kneeling after the Cheap NFL Jerseys donated $100 million to the Players Coalition for causes important to the coalition.
“Guys play for whatever their reasons are, and Eric has his own reason,” Rivera said. “Eric will do what he does. He’s a professional. He gets on the field and plays the game the way it needs to be played. I’m not worried about Eric.”