Jimmie Ward's injury is a wake-up call for the 49ers to bring in Tre Boston

Safety could be more than a band-aid signing for the Niner secondary

Tommy Call
May 24, 2019 - 1:36 pm

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

What now feels all too familiar, the San Francisco 49ers find themselves fighting off the injury bug with another Jimmie Ward injury and this time in the earliest stages of the NFL practices.

The safety reportedly broke his collarbone in a recent organized team activity this week jamming the 49ers into an uncomfortable situation. After missing out on Earl Thomas and simply passing on a loaded safety class, the 49ers have serious depth concerns in their secondary with Ward out.

By double dipping on a wide receivers and selecting a punter in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft, the 49ers put themselves in a position to miss out on young safeties like Mike Edwards, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Ugo Amadi, who all could have stepped in for Jimmie Ward and developed alongside the starters.

They’re now forced find a band-aid as Ward’s replacement.  Luckily for the 49ers their are still some formidable players available in the late stages for free agency.

Eric Berry, Morgan Burnett and Jonathan Cyprien are all available at the safety position, but the best option could come from a division rival. Former Arizona Cardinals safety Tre Boston could provide the stability the 49ers need in their secondary.

After starting his career with the Carolina Panthers, Boston has been a free-agency gem the past two seasons for the Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals. While Boston has switched jerseys a couple of times recently, his play hasn’t dropped off. Boston posted back-to-back top-20 coverage grades in the last two seasons according to Pro Football Focus.

Boston hasn’t been a sure-fire tackler in his career, but he does has a knack for finding the football. Boston could provide a dose of playmaking skills to the backend of the 49ers defense which is something they desperately need. Boston led the Cardinals in interceptions last season with three. Boston also had seven other pass break-ups. 2018 was the second-highest graded season of Boston’s career on the PFF scale at 74.1.

The fit also makes a ton of sense for the 49ers and Boston. Boston is a true deep safety that can hawk deep behind the 49ers front seven. Boston thrived with the Chargers in a similar defense in what the 49ers hope to play in 2019. Plus, he could provide some grizzled veteran experience to a 49ers secondary that is fairly young.

Boston is only 26 years old and is still available to sign, but he won’t be for long as injuries pile up across the league. Even if Ward comes back healthy, the 49ers secondary is still unproven. Boston will at least give the 49ers some flexibility for a low price.

To make the fit even more appealing, Boston seems to have been a fan of the Golden State Warriors sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.

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