February 19th, 2021 at 9:58am CST by Zachary Links
The Panthers are set to release safety Tre Boston, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The move will save Carolina approximately $3.5MM against the 2021 books if Boston is designated as a post-June 1 cut.
Boston returned to the Panthers in 2019, marking his second straight low-cost, one-year NFL deal. Then, Boston racked up eleven passes defensed and three interceptions, helping to turn around a suddenly resurgent secondary. He was rewarded with a three-year, $18MM deal, but he won’t see the final two seasons of that pact. The Panthers have already paid out the bulk of that commitment, furnishing him with $9.5MM in Year One.
Boston, 29 in June, tallied a career high 95 tackles in 2020 with two fumble recoveries, four passes defensed, and one interception. With 15 INTs and 104 career appearances under his belt, Boston should find a solid market for his services in March. However, given the anticipated drop in the salary cap, he’ll probably have to settle for less than his previous deal. Unfortunately for Boston, that may mean another short-term pact to carry him through 2021.
March 17th, 2020 at 6:08pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Tre Boston is staying in Carolina, and he’s finally getting the multi-year deal he’s been seeking. The Panthers are giving the safety a three-year deal worth $18MM, his agent Drew Rosenhaus told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Schefter notes that Boston will get a whopping $9.5MM in the first year of the contract. Boston has been a solid starting safety for a while now, but since he isn’t considered to be in the top-tier, it’s been tough for him to get a long-term commitment. Last offseason he waited until July to sign with the Panthers on a one-year, $3MM deal after he was unsatisfied with the initial offers he got.
The year before he did the same thing, waiting until July to sign with the Cardinals on a one-year, $1.5MM deal. He’s had to bet on himself, and it finally paid off. This past year he started all 16 games for the Panthers, racking up 11 passes defended and three interceptions, helping to turn around a suddenly resurgent secondary.
Boston started his career in Carolina, so it’s fitting they’re the ones who ultimately rewarded him. A fourth-round pick of the Panthers back in 2014, he spent three years with them before being waived and latching on with the Chargers. He started 15 games for the Chargers and had five interceptions, but still failed to generate much of a market.
Tre Boston‘s lengthy tenure as a free agent is over. The Panthers are signing the veteran safety to a one-year, $3MM deal, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
For the second consecutive offseason, Boston had to wait until late July to land a new contract as a free agent. Last year, Boston landed only a $1.5MM deal from the Cardinals, so he’ll now realize a 100% raise for the 2019 campaign, one in which he’ll play for the club that originally drafted him.
Boston was a fourth-round choice of the Panthers in 2014 and subsequently spent three seasons in Carolina, starting 10 games in his final year with the team. He was cut with one year remaining on his rookie contract, and was then signed to subsequent one-year pacts by the Chargers and Cardinals. In both campaigns, Boston started at least 13 games, played at least 950 defensive snaps, and graded among the top 30 safeties in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.
In 2017, Boston was caught up in a stagnant free agent safety market which saw several starting-caliber players — including Boston’s new teammate Eric Reid — languish on the open market for months. This offseason, however, defensive backs Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, Earl Thomas, Lamarcus Joyner, and Adrian Amos each landed at least $9MM in free agency, but Boston was nonetheless left without a deal.
Some of the blame for that lackluster performance can be placed on Mike Adams, who served as the Panthers’ primary free safety in 2018. Adams, who last year at age-37 posted arguably the worst season of his lengthy career, was not re-signed this offseason. He’ll be replaced by Boston, who along with Reid will form one of the league’s most underrated safety duos.
The Packers made the surprising decision to cut Mike Daniels earlier today, and GM Brian Gutekunst confirmed that the club did try to trade Daniels first (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). It sounds as if Green Bay made some headway in trade talks, but the talks broke down over the last couple of weeks. Gutekunst also mentioned Daniels’ foot injury as a factor in the decision.
Now for more from the NFC:
The decision to cut Daniels has opened the door for the Packers to sign NT Kenny Clark to a lucrative extension, as Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. Silverstein suggests (via Twitter) that such a deal could happen at the end of the season.
Matt Barrows of The Athletic suggests that, although John Lynch is the 49ers‘ GM, he is primarily in charge of the defense, while head coach Kyle Shanahan picks the offensive talent. And Lynch has missed on a few major decisions on the defensive side of the ball, so if that unit should struggle again, not only will defensive coordinator Robert Saleh be in danger of losing his job, but Lynch could be as well.
The Giantsworked out free agent safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Tre Boston several days ago, but Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com does not believe Big Blue is going to pay for a starting-caliber safety at this point (Twitter link). He thinks the club was simply doing its due diligence.
The Panthers will give Daryl Williams some reps at left tackle and left guard in training camp, per GM Marty Hurney (via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic on Twitter). Williams signed a one-year deal in March to remain with Carolina, but Hurney is said to prefer Taylor Motonat right tackle — where Williams has spent most of his time as a pro — and the club drafted LT Greg Littlein the second round this year. So if Williams is to earn the big FA contract that he missed out on this year, he may have to do so at an unfamiliar spot.
The Buccaneers have placed Jason Pierre-Paul on the active/non-football injury list, as James Palmer of the NFL Network tweets. Although a player on the active/NFI list can be activated from that list at any time before the start of the season, that will almost certainly not happen with JPP, who is expected to miss at least a chunk of the regular season.
The Giants are looking for help in the secondary and they’re starting with a pair of big names. On Monday afternoon, the Giants will audition free agent safeties Johnathan Cyprien and Tre Boston, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitterlinks).
Cyprien, who turns 29 next week, missed the entire 2018 season due to a torn ACL. He also worked out for the Colts this week and should be able to hook on with a contender if he is indeed back to 100% health. The advanced metrics have never been high on Cyprien, but he has been a starter for his entire career and has a reputation for delivering hard hits.
Boston, 27, has averaged four interceptions, 61 tackles, and 8.5 passes defended over the past two seasons (30 games) with the Chargers and Cardinals. Pro Football Focus was also fond of his performance, ranking him among one of the top defenders in the NFC West last season. Still, a big free agency payday continues to elude him.
It’s June 1st and TreBoston is still without a job, but it sounds like plenty of teams have reached out to the safety. Speaking to SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), the defensive back indicated that he hasn’t been all that pleased with the offers that have come his way this offseason. Specifically, Boston pointed to the contracts signed by AdrianAmos (Packers) and LamarcusJoyner (Raiders) earlier this year.
“I know I’m worth every dollar those guys are getting paid,” Boston said (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com). “The stats say it, you can’t say it’s not, but, for me, it’s about being at peace with where I’m at. Even though the stats say I might be there, if they’re not paying me that then I will wait until it comes a time where I need to sign and they feel comfortable that I’m worth that.”
The 26-year-old does make a point; he’s averaged four interceptions, 61 tackles, and 8.5 passes defended over the past two seasons (30 games) with the Chargers and Cardinals. Pro Football Focus was also fond of his performance, ranking him among one of the top defenders in the NFC West last season.
However, Boston hasn’t seen this money translate into a payday. The defensive back has been forced to settle for a pair of prove-it deals over the past two years, and Boston made it seem like his inability to catch on with an organization may have hurt his free agent stock. Still, the safety remains confident, stating that a team will eventually give in to his apparent monetary demands.
“It’s a copycat league,” Boston said. “Once teams aren’t willing to sign you back – no matter if it’s coaches being fired or different reasons – [other teams are] thinking ‘okay, what’s going on?’
“Eventually, [teams] are going to come around and say we need a great veteran who’s going to come in here and make plays for us. I’ve led my last few teams in interceptions… who doesn’t want a guy like that? So it’s all about them trying to stop playing games and get the job done.”
Boston had previously predicted that he’d be among the “second wave” of free agent safeties to ink deals. The veteran also previously counted towards the 2020 compensatory draft pick formula, but that distinction ended in May. So far this offseason, Boston has specifically been connected to the Browns, but the team has since brought in a pair of safeties in Morgan Burnettand Eric Murray.
Starting at 4pm ET/3pm CT, any unrestricted free agent that signs with a new team will not count towards the 2020 compensatory draft pick formula, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. This should quickly accelerate the market for several free agents of note, including:
Compensatory picks are given to teams that lose a greater number of compensatory free agents (or, a greater quality of free agents) than they acquire. The complicated formula that dictates how the picks are dispersed is not disclosed to the public, but teams are wary of signing even lower impact UFAs while it is in effect.
But, when the formula is turned off, veteran free agents should start flying off of the board.
Responding to a Pro Football Focus tweet that showed Boston as one of the top defenders in the NFC West, the safety wondered what there is left to do to get teams to notice.
“Doesn’t mean much but Stats are beyond there! OBVIOUSLY!! The Players see it, the Fans see it, and are starting to question what’s going on. I like it, keep asking question. You’ll see what’s really up. 2 Prove It Deals…. What’s left to prove? Lol Bout to jump on Offense. Lol”
Those two “prove-it deals” he mentions are the one-year deals he took with the Chargers (2017) and Cardinals (2018) looking to land a long-term deal. Despite performing at a level that should’ve netted him that deal, Boston has been left out in the cold.
He’s not the only one, as several other free agents like Ndamukong Suh, are still awaiting teams due to compensatory picks being attached to their signing, ESPN’s Dan Graziano tweets. Those players will have that pick stripped in May, when most will begin to find homes.
The Browns made a rather notable trade earlier this month, and it left them without one of their starting safeties. While there is another former safety starter on Cleveland’s roster, Derrick Kindred, John Dorsey appears interested in upgrading the position.
Dorsey has spoken with the agents of Eric Berry and Tre Boston, the second-year GM said Monday (via the Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich, on Twitter).
Both players have long-term connections with key Browns personnel. Berry played for Dorsey in Kansas City for four seasons and negotiated his then-safety-record contract with the then-Chiefs GM in 2017. New Cleveland DC Steve Wilks coached Boston in Arizona last season and for three seasons in Carolina.
Boston yet again has seen his free agency start slowly. He was a key member of the higher-end safety group that oddly lingered unattached for months before accepting basement-level deals. Boston played for a $1MM base salary last season in Arizona. The Chiefs released the injury-prone Berry, 30, earlier this month. Prior to running into significant injury trouble, Berry landed on three All-Pro first teams. Boston, 26, became a full-time Cardinals starter despite a late-offseason arrival. He has eight interceptions over the past two seasons.
Cleveland has made big moves and figures to enter this season with the most hype a Browns 2.0 team has, given the team’s additions of Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier VernonandSheldon Richardsonand last season’s seven-win showing. And Dorsey appears interested in exploring another high-profile move.
Peppers started for two seasons, joining Damarious Randall last year. Randall remains under contract. So does Kindred, a 2017 starter. But with some high-profile talent connected to the current staff still available, this figures to be a situation to monitor.