Tre Boston hated football. He didn’t want to play the sport at all. In fact, he disliked the sport so much he would run off the field, only for his mother to return him.

At around the age of five or six, Boston’s amateur football career began, with his mom making him play the sport. His preference was basketball but his mom had other ideas, and since then he credits her for making him stick with the sport.

“Once I said I wanted to go to the NFL, my mom did everything possible to make sure that’s what I lived out,” Boston said. “She wanted me to live out my dream, so at a young age we put our mind on something, prayed for it every night and finally it happened. Now you gotta pray for more.”

Boston’s love for football formed between the ages of 10 and 12 in Fort Myers, Fla. The now-26-year-old credits guys such as Deion Sanders and Jevon Kearse for paving the way for fellow Fort Myers natives, such as Noel Devine, Sammy Watkins and more, throughout the state.

Florida, by a wide margin, leads the NFL in players from any state. 

“First, it’s in our water, second it’s in our DNA,” Boston said. “Just how we grow up, just as little kids competing. You know, honestly, a lot of us come up from troubled homes, troubled backgrounds, so you know we ain’t got nothing to do but get out of our circumstances. So, a lot of us are fighting to get out of our cities, get a better life for our parents and the people around us. The competition down there is just so thick, somebody’s got to make it.”

Boston made it out and, now entering his fifth season on his third team, he begins a new journey with the Cardinals.

As he made his way off the field last Thursday, alone, with part of his jersey tucked under his shoulder pads, he calmly walked to the locker room and talked about his focus.

After a standout 2017 season with the Chargers (79 tackles, eight passes deflected and five interceptions), Boston sought a long-awaited financial reward this offseason but the market for safeties was dry and he decided to settle for a one-year deal with the Cardinals.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day because you can have a career year and still not get paid,” Boston said.

While Boston was hoping for a nice payday, Todd Gurley and Stefon Diggs signed massive extensions with the Rams and Vikings, respectively. Despite not getting the figures he hoped for, Boston was still excited to see his guys have a more attractive bank account.

“I mean they deserve it,” Boston said. “When you play well and play your heart out for teams and come up with career-season stats, top five in the league in your position, you deserve to be paid. I love seeing those guys get paid because at least somebody is.”

What’s done is done and Boston is primed on repeating – if not improving on – what he did a season ago.

“It is what it is man, can’t complain about it now,” Boston said. “I mean the people can’t see it so just gotta do it two times, and once you do it again they can’t deny you two times without the truth coming out.”

Coincidentally, Boston’s first game with the Cardinals is against his former team, the Chargers, as the teams’ preseason begins Saturday.

One of the reasons the transition has been nice for Boston is his comfort with this defense and his confidence while adding his own “flair to this team.”

When he signed with Arizona, one of the ways he announced the transaction was posting a picture of himself with Larry Fitzgerald on his Instagram. In the caption, Boston referenced Fitzgerald as among the greatest of all time (GOAT), “I Remember Playing Against The Goats!! Now Im Playing With Em!!…”

“Ah man, it’s great man,” Boston said about teaming up with Fitzgerald. “You playing with some guys who are going to be Hall of Famers, ya know, you got Patrick Peterson as well, somebody I can play next to. To be able to play with these guys is a real cool moment.”