Cardinals sign safety Tre Boston, one of the best free agents available, to one-year deal


The Arizona Cardinals gave their secondary a major boost on Wednesday night by signing former Panthers and Chargers safety Tre Boston to a one-year deal. The acquisition was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.


Boston had five interceptions for the Chargers last year

Boston, 26, has been effective everywhere he’s been. Drafted in the fourth round by the Panthers in 2014, Boston stepped right in and contributed, playing in 11 games with five starts. He played in 16 games his second year and took over the starting role by 2016, when he recorded 53 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions in 15 games (10 starts).

After signing with the Chargers last season, Boston produced his finest season yet in Los Angeles. The University of North Carolina product reeled in five interceptions, had eight passes defensed and recorded 79 tackles, all career highs. The Chargers had the third-best pass defense in the NFL yardage-wise.

In Arizona, Boston will be reunited with Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, who coached in Carolina from 2012-2017. Outside of 13-year veteran Antoine Bethea, the Cardinals are very young at safety, which means the Boston signing should pay immediate dividends both on and off the field.

Boston seems excited to get going in his new home:


The safety market is not a fruitful one

The fact that Boston was around this long and received such a small deal ($1.5 million with a max of $3 million, per Ian Rapoport) shows the poor state of the safety market. Boston graded out as a top-10 safety league-wide according to Pro Football Focus. He’s only 26. He’s a very solid athlete on the back end and will immediately compete for a starting spot. Normally that would lead to a big deal, but in this market, it did not.

Of the 27 safeties signed this summer, only two — Kurt Coleman and Morgan Burnett — got deals longer than two years. Over half of the 27 contracts signed have been for just one season. Among those signing one-year deals are Boston, former All-Pro Tyrann Mathieu and two-time Pro Bowler Reggie Nelson. Other notable names, such as Kenny Vaccaro, Mike Mitchell and Eric Reid, remain unsigned.

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Tre Boston (with ball, center) is headed to Arizona after a career year in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
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