Free agent safety Eric Reid has officially signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers, a move that had seemed unlikely given his and Colin Kaepernick's ongoing collusion lawsuit against the NFL.

In 2016, Reid and Kaepernick were teammates on the San Francisco 49ers and both took part in kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Last season, the NFLPA filed a grievance with the NFL on Reid's behalf, alleging that team owners and the league, influenced by President Donald Trump, colluded to prevent his employment because of his protests.

According to ESPN, the Panthers had a need at the safety position after veteran Da'Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve after suffering his second concussion in a month. Reid, 26, became a free agent this past offseason and had remained unsigned until today. 

“Eric has been a starting safety in the NFL and has played at a high level throughout his career,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “After we put (safety) Da’Norris Searcy on injured reserve, Ron (Rivera) and I discussed our options, and Eric was at the top of our list. He is a physical safety with good ball skills and play-making ability.”

The Panthers, 2-1, will host the New York Giants in Week 4.