Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 2, 2014

Wachter: Reid’s next step another misstep

Last week, Greg Reid appeared ready to finally reach the dream of playing in the National Football League.

And the former Lowndes and Florida State star sounded like someone who realized the grand opportunity he had in front of him after signing a three-year, minimum salary contract with the St. Louis Rams.

Reid, who had recovered from a pair of torn ACLs to bounce back and impress Rams scouts at the Seminoles’ March 18 pro day and then again at a workout in St. Louis two days later, mentioned numerous times in an interview last week how “blessed” he was after signing with the Rams on March 22.

It was one of two main points Reid made over and over again.

The other certainly made it seem like Reid had learned from his checkered past and was turning a corner.

“It’s just the first step right now,” he said. “I still have to make it past camp and everything like that,  so it’s just a step right now that I'm going through in my life.”

Others believed the ultra-talented defensive back and return specialist was moving forward as well.

“He was very productive in college before he had his issues,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about signing Reid. “His issues are behind him. I personally ran the workout (at Rams Park) because the coaches were on vacation.

“I thought he moved well. He understood things. He’s got a chance to compete at the nickel corner spot. Outstanding returner, not that we have a need. But had outstanding returns earlier in his career.”

Said Rams general manager Les Snead to the Post-Dispatch about FSU coach Jimbo Fisher: “Their head coach signed off on him. Gave him the thumbs up as a person you want to invest in.

“We’ll give it a shot.”

It’s a shot that may now be blown.

On Saturday, Reid was arrested for violation of probation after a Valdosta Police Department officer noticed a passenger — Reid — in a car wasn’t wearing a seat belt and pulled the car over. Reid, who had an arrest warrant issued in October after failing to meet with his probation officer, and was past due in paying court-ordered fines and fees, was then arrested.

This latest mistake could end up being his costliest.

There is no doubt Reid paid a price for his previous misdeed when he was arrested for possession of marijuana in 2012, which led to his dismissal from FSU. That also led to his current situation, since it was probation from that arrest that Reid violated.

But Reid, who was a Parade and SuperPrep All-American with the Vikings and also was named the Georgia Player of the Year in 2008, got another chance following that misstep. The former FSU starter, who was also closing in on Deion Sanders’ school record for career punt return yardage, transferred home to Valdosta State, before suffering the knee injuries.

This time, though, Reid could be running out of chances.

While there has been no word out of St. Louis about the Rams’ intentions, it isn’t hard to imagine Fisher and Snead cutting ties with Reid.

Offseason arrests aren’t exactly uncommon for professional football players, however Reid was already brining baggage with him due to his previous arrests.

And the Rams have nothing invested in Reid. The three-year contract, which is mandated by the collective bargaining agreement for first contracts, contains no guaranteed money and included no signing bonus.

It was simply a flyer the team took on a talented player it hoped was really ready to take that next step.

Unfortunately, Reid’s next step was just the latest misstep.

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