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Eric Reid made it just one-third of the way through the contract he signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2019, but his surprise release early in 2020 free agency may have paved the way for something better: A family reunion. According to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson, Reid's younger brother, Justin, has pitched the idea of signing the veteran safety to Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien, and the team is apparently considering the move.

"O'Brien was very positive" about Eric Reid, Wilson added, after the youngest Reid brother -- a third-round draft pick of the Texans at the same position in 2018 -- discussed the idea of the two becoming teammates. Whether an actual agreement between Reid and the Texans will develop, however, remains unclear.

The 28-year-old Reid, originally a first-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers back in 2013, is one of the top veteran safeties still on the open market. A one-time Pro Bowler, he logged a career-high 130 tackles and four sacks out of the Panthers' secondary in 2019, but with Carolina under a new regime and apparently kicking off a rebuild, his three-year, $22 million deal was nixed in order to free up an estimated $3 million in 2020 salary cap space for the team.

The Texans aren't necessarily in dire need of another starting-caliber safety. Justin Reid, 23, has locked down a top job after picking off five passes over his first two NFL seasons, and Houston is just one year removed from handing ex-Jacksonville Jaguars standout Tashaun Gipson a three-year, $22.5 million deal. Of course, the elder Reid also has the family connection, though, and the Texans could save a little more than $3 million this year by cutting Gipson ahead of the season.

Reid spent the first five seasons of his career with the Niners, logging seven INTs from 2013-2014 before injuries limited his production ahead of 2018 free agency. Originally signed by Carolina on a one-year deal, he's perhaps best known for his work off the field, where he championed the causes of former teammate Colin Kaepernick and recently protested the NFL's new collective bargaining agreement.