Panthers safety Eric Reid penned a three-year contract extension Monday that will keep him with the team through the 2021 season.
The deal, Reid says, should help his case against the NFL.
"If anything, it proves my point from last year. I didn't sign until a (few weeks into) the regular season,'' Reid said Monday, via ESPN . "This year I signed a more substantial contract over the same time period. I'm the same player.''
The NFL Players Association filed a collusion grievance against the league on Reid's behalf in May after he remained unsigned as an unrestricted free agent at that point.
The grievance alleged team owners and the NFL colluded to prevent Reid's employment because of his protests against social injustice. In 2016, Reid became the first NFL player to join former 49ers quarterback and teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem.
San Francisco opted to let Reid go after five seasons with the team, which selected him as its 2013 first-round pick.
He later joined the Panthers organization in late September.
Reid, who will reportedly make more than $22 million from the new deal, has had issues with the NFL while the grievance is still ongoing. According to Reid, he has been randomly selected for seven drug test this past season. The league and NFLPA have denied any impropriety, but Reid and his camp maintain their assertion.
"The NFL released a statement saying I was not targeted, and I believe otherwise,'' Reid said.