After being somewhat surprisingly released by the Carolina Panthers, safety Tre Boston is trying to get this free agency thing sorted out quickly, visiting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills.
Boston was released by the Panthers after three years with the team, despite appearing 15 times for them last season, including 10 starts. The 4th round pick in 2014 didn’t distinguish himself as one of the best safeties in the NFL, but he put up decent numbers, especially when it came to pass rush. His pass coverage scores on various metrics and websites weren’t too impressive, ranking him outside the top 40 safeties in the NFL. Still, he hasn’t shown any regression, and after his first-year as (mostly) a full-time starter, things could have gotten better.
The Panthers didn’t pick a safety in the draft, and still released him. Whatever their logic may be, Boston has other things to worry about, like his visits with teams and impressing them. He doesn’t seem to have a guaranteed spot on any NFL roster to start, but he’ll certainly help any team looking to improve their safety depth, while Boston has an outside shot to start with several of them.
Mike Mitchell and Sean Davis are the likely starters for the Steelers next season at safety, but Boston is capable of filling in for both of them, or at least providing the team with some quality depth in the secondary. Starting with the Chargers could be more likely; they did select RayShawn Jenkins and Desmond King in the draft, and Dwight Lowry is coming back, but Boston might be the best player in this group. The same can be said of his potential situation with the Bills, signing Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer in the offseason, but Boston is good enough to compete with them for a starting job and beat ’em to it.
Boston, soon to be 25 who played his college ball for North Carolina, has 42 NFL appearances, 16 of them starts. He has 3 career interceptions for Carolina, including one of them going back for a touchdown during his rookie season. He had 2 interceptions in 2016.