Chargers FS Tre Boston is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Boston should be the team’s top priority heading into the 2018 offseason.
Just three days after the 2017 NFL Draft ended, safety Tre Boston was surprisingly cut by the Carolina Panthers.
Two weeks later, Boston made a decision to sign with a new team. After a spiritual experience, Boston chose the Los Angeles Chargers over the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers. Boston, who filled a huge need at free safety, was a bargain signing that paid off. He signed a one-year, $900,000 contract.
One year later, Boston will certainly be looking for a long-term deal, and the Chargers should try their best to re-sign the 25-year-old safety. In my opinion, he’s the Chargers’ top in-house free agent, and the good news is that the rest are rotational players who won’t command much money if re-signed.
A 2014 fourth-round pick, Boston is still a very young player who is coming off his best season as a pro. He was Pro Football Focus’ 30th-ranked safety in 2017, finishing with an 81.4 overall grade. He tied for fifth in the NFL with five interceptions and was one of the best coverage safeties. Boston played the most snaps on defense for the Chargers, too.
2017-18 Most Snaps Played Among #Chargers Players (Defense):
1. S Tre Boston 1,039 / 1,0472. S Jahleel Addae 1,0303. CB Casey Hayward 1,0034. CB Trevor Williams 1,0035. ED Melvin Ingram 890
— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_LAChargers) January 8, 2018
Also, the “swag” Boston brought should not be understated. I had not seen the Chargers’ defense that fired up in a long time, and he was a big reason why the energy level was high. They were no longer soft. The camaraderie was there and it helped the defense grow into one of the better units in the league.
And as a defensive unit, the Chargers ranked No. 15 in total defense and allowed just 17.0 points per game, the third-best mark this season and fewest for the franchise since 1992. They also had the third-best pass defense in the league, giving up just 197.2 passing yards per game. Not only that, but they gave up the sixth-fewest explosive plays (runs 11-plus yards, pass 15-plus yards), as noted by ESPN.
The main knock on Boston is his tackling. He always took poor angles and failed to wrap up opposing players.
However, the pros outweigh the cons, and he’s arguably better than most safeties on the free-agent market. Plus, he’s comfortable in Gus Bradley’s system. Boston shouldn’t command too much money. But if the Chargers don’t re-sign him, it’ll just add one more need to their draft board.