With the team looking to rebound in 2017 after missing the playoffs altogether last season, the Carolina Panthers released five players on Tuesday afternoon.
Among those shown the door was former UNC safety Tre Boston–who started 16 of his 42 games in Charlotte over the last three years, including 10 in 2016.
Boston intercepted three passes during his three regular seasons under head coach Ron Rivera, while also grabbing a pick during each of Carolina’s playoff runs in 2014 and 2015.
The Panthers’ secondary took a major hit entering 2016, when superstar cornerback Josh Norman was allowed to become a free agent–ultimately signing with the Washington Redskins.
Without Norman, Carolina ranked 29th out of 32 teams in pass defense–allowing 4,291 yards and 27 touchdowns through the air. Those statistics were likely the motivation for changes heading into the 2017 campaign.
Given the chance to hang onto a starting role, Boston simply wasn’t able to provide the consistency the Panthers were looking for.
General manager Dave Gettleman has already made a move earlier this offseason to sign veteran safety Mike Adams, but its unclear at this moment if Carolina has any other moves in mind in regards to its defensive backs.