Tre Boston returns to Panthers on 3-year, $18M deal

Safety Tre Boston has re-signed with the Carolina Panthers on a three-year deal worth $18 million -- with $9.5 million coming in the first season -- his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Boston, 27, started 16 games in 2019 after signing with the Panthers just over a month before the start of the season. He finished with 68 tackles, 3 interceptions and 11 passes defensed.

Boston fits the profile of what coach Matt Rhule is looking for in the team's rebuild. He's still young and his $6 million annual salary ranks low among safeties with his production.

He's a strong voice in the locker room, so he will help bridge the gap between Rhule's new players and the ones left over from the Ron Rivera era.

With Boston, the Panthers will have the back end of last season's secondary intact. Strong safety Eric Reid signed a three-year deal last offseason.

Last season marked Boston's return to Carolina after the Panthers released him in May 2017. He said last August that the Panthers' change of ownership from Jerry Richardson to David Tepper allowed the reunion to take place.

Boston was vocal about social injustice following the 2016 shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte, North Carolina, police officer. Boston considered joining Reid and then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem.

Tepper allowed the Panthers to sign Reid in September 2018, months after Reid had filed a grievance stating that the NFL and its owners colluded to prevent his employment because of his protests. Boston, who spent the first three seasons of his career with the Panthers, said last August that it "spoke volumes" that he was jettisoned when Richardson owned the team and then welcomed back under Tepper.

Boston played the 2017 season with the Chargers and in 2018 with the Cardinals on one-year contracts.

He has 334 tackles, 14 interceptions, 38 passes defensed and 2 sacks in six NFL seasons.