Safeties in a loaded market are one step closer to getting the big bucks they desire in free agency.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) February 11, 2019
The Carolina Panthers have re-signed safety Eric Reid. NFL.com’s Michael Silver reports the three-year deal is worth more than $22 million and includes incentives that could make the deal worth $24 million. That’s good news for Reid, who had to wait out a frigid free agency market a year ago before signing with Carolina in September. And it’s great news for the rest of the class of free agent safeties who will follow the path Reid has set for his fellow defensive backs.
With Reid set to earn about $7.3 million per season over the next three years, this deal could help set a ballpark figure for a player like Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos. Should Amos hit the open market, he could ask for (and obtain) a hefty deal of his own.
Reid’s deal essentially gets the ball rolling for the likes of Amos, Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, and others. And even though it might prohibit the Bears from bringing back Amos, it could ultimately net the Bears a compensatory pick in 2020 depending on the type of contract that is signed and what happens elsewhere with the Bears in free agency. It’s the greatest consolation prize, but it’s something to keep in mind during the free agency process.
The Bears explored an extension with Amos last offseason, but no new deal came from those conversations. And while the team was able to come to an agreement on extensions with nose tackle Eddie Goldman and right tackle Bobby Massie, Amos remains on the brink of free agency. Back in January, we figured the Bears’ salary cap crunch was going to limit what the Bears could offer a safety who has out-played his rookie deal. And because Amos is two years younger than Reid, there is a good chance that he’ll request (and receive) more than what Reid received to stay in Carolina.
Amos has been durable, reliable, and productive during his four-year run as the Bears’ primary starter at strong safety. The last two seasons were career bests for Amos as he earned high marks from Pro Football Focus in 2017, entered 2018 on the cusp of “elite” status, was ranked among CBS Sports’ top-100 players, and was viewed as a player who out-played his rookie deal. Then he came out and played a full 16-game season at a high level on what was the league’s best scoring defense. All of these factors are pointing to Amos lining up for a significant pay raise from the $1.907 million he received in the final year of his rookie contract. Good for him! He has certainly earned it.