The Kansas City Chiefs made an addition to their secondary on Thursday, agreeing to terms with 25-year-old free agent safety Justin Reid.
Here are five things to know about the newest member of the squad.
1. Reid spent the last four seasons with the Houston Texans.
Originally a third-round pick (No. 68 overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft, Reid appeared in 57 games (53 starts) for Houston over the last four seasons. He immediately established himself as one of the better safeties in the NFL during his rookie campaign, ranking sixth among all players at his position in passes defensed (10) while recording three interceptions. Reid took one of those picks 101 yards to the house.
Reid then followed that up with a strong sophomore season, earning the 12th best Pro Football Focus grade among all safeties in 2019 (min. 900 snaps). Remarkably, it was later revealed that Reid posted that strong performance in 2019 despite playing with a shoulder injury throughout the season. His determination to play through the injury led to his teammates naming him the Texans' "Ed Block Courage Award" recipient following the year.
He went on to start 26 games for Houston over the next two seasons, compiling the second-most tackles (145) of any player on the Texans' roster. Overall, Reid recorded 304 tackles, 23 passes defensed, 11 tackles-for-loss, seven interceptions, six quarterback hits and two forced fumbles during his time in Houston.
2. He's a versatile player capable of doing a number of things.
Reid – who stands at six-foot-one, 203 pounds – was touted as one of the most athletic players in the 2018 Draft following a strong combine in which he showed off impressive speed, explosiveness and agility. Reid ranked third among all safeties in the 40-yard dash (4.40), third in the three-cone drill (6.65 seconds) and fifth in the broad jump (128 inches).
The below chart illustrates his collective athleticism, as it indicates that his overall combine performance was 2.5 standard deviations above the average athlete.
That athleticism allowed the Texans to deploy Reid in a variety of ways. Just last season, he logged snaps at free safety (540), in the box (147), at slot corner (65), along the line of scrimmage (21) and at wide corner (7). He also contributed on special teams, recording 59 snaps on punt coverage.
Additionally, Reid even showed off his leg while handling kickoff duties during a preseason game last season as the Texans' emergency kicker.
Reid went on to log kickoffs of 65, 61 and 48 yards in the contest. His kicking abilities hopefully won't be needed during his tenure in Kansas City, but Reid's ability to boot a kickoff and be in position to make a play down the field in coverage demonstrates the type of athlete that he is. In fact, Reid actually made a tackle on one of his kicks later in the game.
3. Reid is the younger brother of former NFL safety Eric Reid.
Football runs in the Reid family, as Justin's older brother – Eric – played seven seasons in the NFL and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2013. Justin credits the elder Reid, who played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2013-2017 and the Carolina Panthers from 2018-19, for making him a better player.
"In college, I used to go to his house, and he'd pull up his San Francisco film, and we'd break it down," Reid told TexansWire.USAToday.com. "He'd give me the game plan on what they were doing, why they were doing certain things, and he'd just give me tips. Like, say if it's two-by-two, and the back releases away, then teams are usually doing slants on the backside."
For more on Justin's relationship with Eric, check out this article.
4. He played his college ball at Stanford while majoring in engineering.
Before heading to the NFL, Reid was one of the top defensive backs in the nation while also handling a course load focused on management science and engineering at Stanford. The multi-skilled Reid went on to earn Second-Team All-America honors as a junior in 2017 after racking up 99 tackles, six passes defensed and five interceptions as part of a breakout campaign that garnered attention as a potential first-round selection in the 2018 Draft.
Here's what NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein wrote about Reid prior to the draft that year:
"Reid is what teams are looking for at the safety position in 2018. He's a plus size/speed prospect who has the athletic ability to help with man coverage and the instincts and ball skills for ball-hawking duties on the back end…He has the talent to become an early starter and a good one. Reid's instincts and play traits should make him a safe selection with Pro Bowl potential down the road."
Reid ended up falling to the third round, but his performance as a professional in the time since has largely proven Zierlein's analysis correct. Additionally, at just 25 years old, the Chiefs are investing in the fact that Reid still has plenty of room to grow.
For more on Reid and what drives him – both on and off the field – check out this video that the Texans put together following his rookie season.
5. Reid has been an active participant in his community away from the field, too.
As the above video demonstrates, Reid has consistently shown an interest in giving back to his community. That was particularly true early last season, when Reid was named the NFLPA "Community MVP" for his efforts assisting those affected by Hurricane Ida in his native Louisiana. Reid raised $10,000 and organized a relief drive that filled two 18-wheeler trucks with goods for those in need.
Here's what Reid had to say about the initiative:
"It is an honor to be named the NFLPA Community MVP for this week," Reid said. "I do not do anything for recognition; I'm strictly doing what I believe I am called to do. To whom much is given, much is required. Louisiana is my home, and my heart was broken after talking to family members and seeing images of the devastation in the news."
Reid's actions were a continuation of what's become a pattern of philanthropic endeavors for the young safety. He partnered with Microsoft and Baylor University to donate 20 tablets to medical students in 2020, he donated $10,000 to "Kids Meals Houston" during the onset of the pandemic and provided 20 families with a shopping spree during the holiday season in 2019. Additionally, Reid routinely provided families of pediatric cancer patients with tickets to Texans' games.
Overall, he has all the makings of a young player capable of making a substantial impact both on and off the field as Reid continues his career with Kanas City.