Tre Boston hints at league-wide collusion regarding safeties


Something strange and confusing has happened this year with the safety market. Plenty of them were available to be signed, but few of them were — and none for big money.

Some think that the safety market generally took a hit because not because the position suddenly has been devalued but because one of the prominent free-agent safeties became persona non grata for his protests during the anthem, his open support of Colin Kaepernick, and (perhaps most importantly) his unwillingness to go along with the wink-nod solution to the controversy that the league hoped to achieve last year by having direct negotiations between owners and players.

Safety Tre Boston, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal late last month with the Cardinals, recently made vague but unmistakable reference to former 49ers safety Eric Reid in comments to Robert Mays of

“Somebody’s not going to play football this year, and then he won’t be a free agent next year,” Boston said. “Everyone knows what’s going on.”

In other words, Boston believes that Reid will be out of football by next March, and that NFL teams will be able to pay safeties once again.

“How did we get to a point where this is what we were worth?” Boston said. “You can put my stats up against some of the best of them you’re gonna get me in the $7 million-plus range. It’s crazy that people aren’t really talking about how we managed to get paid less than $2 million. It’s right in front of our eyes. Somebody’s got to call a spade a spade.”

Boston stopped short of doing it himself, but the point is clear. But for guys like Reid, the money would be flowing to guys like Boston.

“Last year, [there were] three highly paid safeties,” Boston said. “It was the highest our market has ever been. And then it just flops this year. It’s the first year any top-five group of free agents has waited into training camp. And a week into camp two of the top five sign. It’s just obvious [what the reasoning is]. I don’t understand why the questions are even there.”

It will be interesting to see what happens next year, after a full season goes by and Reid possibly is gone and forgotten and other safeties possibly get paid a lot more than they got paid this year.

Or maybe Reid will get a job. Maybe there won’t be any more flight delays when a team supposedly wants to give him a workout. Maybe someone will be willing to ignore the not-so-subtle messages from 345 that players like Reid or Colin Kaepernick should be shunned because they are “bad for business.”

Maybe, but not bloody likely. Last year, it was Kaepernick. This year, it’s Reid and, by necessity, those who play the same position that he plays.

33 responses to “Tre Boston hints at league-wide collusion regarding safeties

  1. This makes no sense whatsoever, so teams are in collusion not to pay a player of a certain position because the benchmark has been established by a player that kneels, and is in a collusion lawsuit? Why hasn’t it effected the QB’s. They seem to be doing OK salary wise. Reid was not good enough to set the market on his position. This isn’t a hall of Famer.

  2. Should be a great deal for the Cardinals for a year, especially if he plays with a chip on his shoulder and for the next contract. Sometimes things work out that way.

  3. He was a run support safety and his coverage was lacking. These kind of safeties have a limited shelf life and he reached that mark. Who really needs a good tackling safety who can’t cover recievers very well.

  4. 6-7 years ago the market got real bloated

    this is a simple case of supply and demand and the carryover from that

    nothing more, nothing less

    if there is a gutton of options of course the guys who got big money at the peak of the market are not going to get what they used to

    these guys are seriously dumb

  5. You made your own bed, now lay in it. It never occurred to you that with the rule changes assassin safetys are passe’, and they’re putting more active, speedy corner types in the backfield. Have a nice day.

  6. Or perhaps teams are thinking putting top dollar in to a safety is not a worthwhile investment given the return ?

  7. Top paid safeties in 2018:
    Eric Berry $13,000,000
    Kam Chancellor $12,000,000
    Reshad Jones $12,000,000
    Lamarcus Joyner $11,287,000
    Harrison Smith $10,250,000
    Earl Thomas $10,000,000
    Devin McCourty. $9,500,000
    Malcolm Jenkins $8,750,000

    Yep, there is a conspirency to under pay the position.

  8. Reid was tied for fifth most penalties committed by defensive backs last year. He had a knee injury and wound up on IR in 2016. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the 44th best safety in 2017. Does anyone want to pay the 44th best safety as if he were still a first round draft pick? That’s why Reid is unemployed. His ego is writing checks his skills can no longer cash. He’s now just a guy.

  9. Well, it’s not like football players do their own homework in college, so should we really be surprised by this lack of critical thinking skills?

  10. None of these unemployed safeties are great in coverage. The NFL is only paying guys who can cover. It’s that simple.

  11. Safeties that dont have range and can’t cover the the entire field arent valuable in today’s NFL. For example with the Eagles, Malcolm Jenkins lined up at LB last year more than he did at safety.

  12. Boston is a mediocre safety at best. He had some disappointing years in Carolina until he had a career year last year (not coincidentally, a contract year) and still the Chargers waived him. Why do you think they did that? Strangely enough Boston turned down an earlier offer from the Cardinals only to eventually sign with them. It seems none of the other teams he visited were interested enough to offer him a contract. He should be happy to get $1.5M this year. He better save some of it because he may not get any offers next year.

    Oh, and his assertion shows why he’s a football player and not a rocket scientist.

  13. It couldn’t be more evident that a lot of the people who post comments can’t read.

  14. The guys who were paid last year filled the holes that would have opened this year. There were a lot of teams in need of safety help this year, but many for whom safety was their biggest need. Add to that all of the safeties who came up in the draft and you have a poor market (unless you’re Todd Bowles and you sign a safety every year).

    Reid was probably the third best safety remaining on the market after Boston and Vaccaro. The Titans signed Vaccaro (and the former Seahawks safety) who both showed up to their workout. How does the team justify not signing them for a guy who never showed? Tre Boston displayed much superior coverage skills to Eric Reid, not to mention his strong year creating turnovers. The sum does appear low, I would agree, given Boston’s experience and performance last year, but the top safeties this year just didn’t get signed until late. That means that teams just didn’t need them as much as they did last year.

    I mean, can we pick out any teams right now whose number one need is safety and have money to spend? I know you like Eric Reid, but even you must admit that he was not the best safety available. And the guys ahead of him had to wait for an injury to even sign. And now he’s suing the league. What person in their right mind, when evaluating someone’s credentials for employment, ignores an ongoing lawsuit against their employer?

    Also, this statement…

    “Maybe there won’t be any more flight delays when a team supposedly wants to give him a workout”

    …I mean, really? The guy missed his flight, and missed his workout. How is that not understandable?

  15. Reid stood up in a meeting about respect and communication between players and owners and he used his time to yell at the owners about Kaepernick.

    He is a zero character guy who is too toxic to hire based on his own actions.

  16. it’s right there in front of everyone to see. Eric Reid has a great year, and due to his protests and support of kap he is also being blackballed. anybody who doesn’t see that is lying to themselves. Give me a break, who cares if a player sits or kneels during the anthem, does it really affect any of us in any way, exactly, it doesn’t.

  17. I wish the Bears knew about this, as last year they pissed away $16m on QB Mike Glennon – when they weren’t supposed to sign any free agent QB …apparently.

  18. So why last year did glennon get $16 million. Wouldn’t they have blackballed qbs also last year. Man it is getting harder and harder to root for nfl players. They want us working from 7-5 six days a week to live paycheck to paycheck to feel sorry for them only making 1.5 million in a half a year playing a game.

  19. Tre Boston was rated the 14th best safety in 2017 by PFF. He had a career best year in 2017 intercepting five passes yet he was not resigned by the LA Chargers. Why? In the three prior seasons he had a total of three interceptions. He was rated low by PFF on stopping the run meaning he did not like contact. He was on IR in 2016, waived by the Panthers in 2017 and first won a starting job in 2017. He has one year of performance and two teams that have given up on him. He may be a one year wonder or he may have finally realized his potential. The ghost of Albert Haynesworth hovers over all free agents, particularly those who have only one year of performance. A one year prove it deal at $1.5 million seems reasonable.

  20. Professional athletes have short careers. Maybe it’s time for Reid to start thinking about what’s next. Average pay for cops in Bay Area is $4,700/month. In case your math ain’t good that’s less than $60,000/year. Now that’s reason to protest.

  21. Hope Kap and Reid win their cases against the NFL. The NFL owners are blaming the decline in viewership on the protesters. Until they change their mind they will keep on blackballing the protesters.

  22. I can’t agree with Reid. The Niners didn’t resign him to a big money contract because they had two better players. There are just too many talented safeties being drafted for cheaper.

  23. Kick all of the disrespectful , ungrateful, spoiled brats out of the league. One by one, Kaep, Reid, next will be Jenkins, banish them. 345 and owners like Hunt, McNair, Jerry will help Make The League Great Again.
    They need to be reminded what their roles are. They are paid to entertain, not to speak, not to do anything else. These boys are employees, not partners, not supervisors. Teach them a lesson, that they will never ever forget again.

  24. I believe he actually is being blackballed, and to that I say good! I don’t want to watch your bs protests at a game when I’m trying to wind down after a long work week. Bye bye Eric! Maybe you can put in an application at your local Home Depot or McDonalds.

  25. I’m not sure why no one every mentions his concussion issue. Other players with a history of multiple concussions have had difficulty finding jobs in the past. The wide receiver for the patriots comes to mind. I’m sure that plays in to it as well as his politics.

  26. While Reid was busy kneeling, the Niners’ 7th round pick, Adrian Colbert, took the job and isn’t looking back. Look for Colbert to make the Pro Bowl this season. He’s 6’2″, 205, hits like Ronnie Lott and was timed in 4.25 in the 40. He’s that good…

  27. It’s funny, none of these players were too concerned when conservative Christians like Tebow got attacked and blacklisted by the media and Hollywood.

  28. Without getting too deep into the nuts & bolts of this article & comments
    I’d just like to point out conspiracies are almost impossible to prove & TI prove definitively
    Only when issues touch us personally can nor will people be open enough to begin to acknowledge certain truths

    Especially sensitive issues with ugly content
    This nation should pray individually, network together despite differences, & God will honor us & thwart much of the negativity

    Until & unless we act like God’s
    people we should NOT expect His blessings, but his WRATH

    The Anthem Issue, like substance abuse, is ONLY the symptom if a much deeper rooted issue(s)

    Please GOD intervene as only You Lord can, will, have, & shall


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.