Panthers informed starting safety Tre Boston today that they are releasing him, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 19, 2021
He had two years remaining on his contract.
Boston signed a three-year $18 million contract in 2020.
This is believed to be a move to generate salary cap space.
The conditions of his release by the Panthers stipulate that teams cannot sign him until after June 1.
Boston is a good player and started all 16 games last season.
He recorded 1 interception, 61 solo tackles, and 34 assists on tackles.
Ain’t Gotta Respect It!! But Y’all Gotta Accept It! I’ve Been Making Highlights With GOATS All Over It Since 2014! This Just Carolina Too!😤🤫😎📫 #ThievesAve #BeenLikeDat #ThePostMan pic.twitter.com/mS3voWPBhf
— Tre Boston (@TreBos10) August 2, 2020
2020 was not his best season, and many questioned the Panthers’ strategy of positioning him so close to the line of scrimmage when pass defense is his strength.
Regardless, the Panthers are purging the ranks perhaps in an effort to make room for Texans QB Deshaun Watson.
Ironically, Tre Boston recently joked about what a transaction with Watson would cost a team after the Stafford-Goff trade was announced.
“Gotta be 3 1st Rd! 3% ownership in the team! 2% ownership in the Cities Basketball or Baseball team! As well as Hiring his QB Coach of choice. Only thing that makes sense at this point.”
Tre Boston enters a free agent pool saturated with defensive players, but he reportedly could be a very good player who can be acquired on the cheap.
What are the three most likely landing spots for Tre Boston in 2021?
1. Washington Football Team
— Sports Roadhouse® (@SportsRoadhouse) February 19, 2021
There may be three teams on this list, but by all accounts, the Washington Football Team is the odds-on favorite to land Boston.
Ron Rivera was the head coach of the Panthers when the organization drafted Boston in 2014.
Throughout the years, Rivera has been complimentary of Tre Boston’s talent and skill.
Besides Rivera’s familiarity with Tre Boston, there is also the issue that the WFT could improve its ranks at the free safety position.
Boston left the Panthers for the 2017 and 2018 seasons playing for the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers before returning in 2019.
If WFT picks him up, this would be his third time working with Rivera.
2. Detroit Lions
Tre Boston joining the Detroit Lions could be another reunion of sorts.
The Lions offensive coordinator is none other than former Los Angeles Chargers HC Anthony Lynn who spoke positively about Boston back in 2017.
“Tre has a lot of energy…That’s just part of his personality, and it’s contagious. You need a few guys like that.”
Anthony Lynn in 2017: “Tre has a lot of energy. … That’s just part of his personality, and it’s contagious. You need a few guys like that.” https://t.co/nBitKax1kF
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) February 19, 2021
Boston, 28, had arguably his best season under Anthony Lynn in 2017 with a career-high 5 interceptions.
3. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons need a safety.
For cap reasons, they released Ricardo Allen.
It would be advantageous for Atlanta to pick up Tre Boston because he has been entrenched in the NFC South for the majority of his career so he knows the opposing teams well.
Tre Boston will be a sought after free agent.
His age, durability, and performance will garner him offers.
The question will be if teams want to invest in the long term with him or offer one or two-year deals.