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Is curiously unsigned NFL star the next Kaepernick?


Eric Reid is following in former teammate Colin Kaepernick’s footsteps in more ways than one.

The former 49ers safety, one of the first NFL athletes to take a knee beside Kaepernick during the national anthem, vented his frustrations Thursday given the lack of offers he has received during the free-agency period.

The Giants also signed cornerback Teddy Williams to a one-year contract. Williams, 29, is a seven-year NFL veteran who spent the past two seasons with the Panthers, meaning general manager Dave Gettleman is bringing in another of his former Carolina players. Known for his speed, Williams figures to get on the field as a special teams contributor, if he makes the team. In 36 NFL games, Williams has no starts and did not play at all in 2017 because of a shoulder injury, as he was hurt in the preseason and waived by the Panthers.

The Giants see Martin as a versatile player and they need him to take some of the burden off Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon, who played more defensive snaps in 2017 than any other defensive-end tandem in the NFL. Not surprisingly, they wore down late in the season.

Stewart is receiving backup money from the Giants and could serve as a mentor to Barkley. Hyde is getting starters’ money, as is Jerick McKinnon, who agreed to a four-year, $30 million deal with the 49ers. McKinnon was with the Viking when Pat Shurmur was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota. As the Giants head coach, Shurmur knows what McKinnon can do, but his new team did not make a run for the running back, knowing he would cost too much.

The Giants’ starting running back spot remains open, a spot Barkley could fill, if the Browns pass on him now that they have Hyde.

Cooper started a career-high 13 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, playing between Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick. He helped solidify the line after the Cowboys lost Ronald Leary to free agency last year to the Denver Broncos.

Cooper, 28, suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee during the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles and had postseason surgery. The belief is he will be able to return to the field for organized team activities and the June minicamp.

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