The Panthers’ decision to cut safety Tre Boston on Tuesday might have seemed to come out of the blue, but Boston had known since March it was a strong possibility.
Two developments this offseason combined to work against Boston’s future in Carolina: The signing of free agent safety Mike Adams and the big bump in pay Boston received when his playing time triggered a salary escalator.
Boston’s salary more than doubled - going from $791,000 to $1.9 million - when he qualified for the escalator that was included in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement to award players drafted from rounds 3-7.
The Panthers created nearly $1.8 million in cap space by waiving Boston, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina in 2014.
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“I saw it coming,” Boston told the Observer in a phone interview. “Kurt (Coleman) is paid to play free safety and Mike was paid to come in and play strong. I had the (raise), so of course that gave them a little bit more money (by waiving him). So you’ve got to move things around for the right people. It happens.”
Boston didn’t help himself with his inconsistent play. He started five games as a rookie and was a starter again last season, but neither time could hold the job.
Boston had three interceptions and 11 pass breakups with the Panthers, and says he got better each season. He believes the Panthers’ decision to waive him was mostly money-related, along with the acquisition of Adams.
“They’ve got to make cap room. I don’t think it was anything with personality or play,” he said. “You don’t sign guys to sit on the bench. You sign guys to start. It is what it is.”
Boston expects to be claimed on waivers , and hopes he’ll be picked up by a team that is on the Panthers’ schedule this season.
“Everybody always wants that when you’re cut. You always want to come back and play and show them what you got,” he said. “Maybe it’ll be in the future.”
NOTE: The team also waived fullback Devon Johnson, cornerback Lou Young and offensive tackles Jack Rodgers and Jordan Rigsbee.