Trio can’t have any complaints as Carolina Panthers wield the axe

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Tre Boston
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Tre Boston /

Tre Boston and Stephen Weatherly are the latest big-name players to be released by the Carolina Panthers, and they can have no complaints.

The Carolina Panthers continued their cost-cutting measures by parting ways with three more veterans on Friday. Tre Boston, Stephen Weatherly, and Michael Palardy became the latest established veterans to be shown the door, which frees up $11.36 million in extra resources ahead of a crucial free agency period for the organization.

Many expected more big changes on the Panthers following the appointment of general manager Scott Fitterer. But it appears as if the new arrival is going to be ruthless in his pursuit of getting Carolina back into legitimate postseason contention next time around.

Make no mistake, this is just the start of a preparation period that is arguably the most critical in franchise history.

Carolina Panthers rid themselves of underperforming veterans.

In truth, Boston and Weatherly can’t have many complaints. Both players simply didn’t do enough in 2020 to be relied upon moving forward and a fresh start might be the best possible solution for all parties.

Boston’s release comes just one season after the safety signed a three-year, $18 million contract with an $8 million signing bonus and $8 million guaranteed. The former North Carolina star was never able to match the production he displayed to secure an extension and although his presence will be sorely missed in the locker room, cutting him before June 1 was a smart move in the grand scheme of things.

Nobody could ever fault Boston from an effort perspective.

But the quality wasn’t there in 2020.

Weatherly is another who’d hoped things had gone better. The defensive end was looking to make a name for himself as a starter after playing well on a rotational basis behind Pro Bowl duo Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen with the Minnesota Vikings. But he never looked capable of filling the spot opposite stud edge rusher Brian Burns long-term.

Carolina’s defensive front actually performed better once Weatherly went to the reserve/injured list, which was another damning indictment on his level of production.

Palardy can count himself the most unfortunate, with injury keeping him out of the entire 2020 campaign. The NFL waits for no man and considering how undrafted free-agent punter Joseph Charlton performed in his absence, he was probably expecting to depart the Panthers this offseason.

The Panthers are making some serious moves to clear cap space. They are going to need some significant reinforcements this offseason that might still come with a bombshell trade offer for Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.

Boston, Weatherly, and Palardy were the latest. But there could be even more to come as Carolina looks to position itself to sign retain key members of the current roster this spring and possibly become major players in free agency.

It’s going to be a wild ride, of that there is little doubt.

So our advice to Panthers fans is simple. Strap yourselves in and try to enjoy it because what comes next is going to shape the long and short-term aspirations of the franchise.