2:27pm: Boykin denies that he has injury issues and says that his workout with the Cowboys went well (Twitter links via Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram). Boykin also blames Steelers defensive back coach Carnell Lake for the rumor that he has a hip issue. The corner added that he hopes to sign with Dallas.
10:03am: This offseason, Brandon Boykin‘s market was slow to develop. The cornerback wasn’t scooped up in the first or second wave of free agency and it wasn’t until the end of March that he inked a deal with the Panthers. Then, just six weeks later, Boykin was thrown back into the sea. At the age of 25 (26 next month), Boykin has moved around quite a bit and he still remains without employment after multiple team visits over the past three weeks. It turns out, there could be a reason for that.
Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hears that Boykin is suffering from hip problems that might end his career. Once considered to be one of the league’s better slot cornerbacks, Boykin played primarily on special teams for the Steelers until the final few weeks of the season — he logged 252 of his 274 regular-season defensive snaps in the Steelers’ last five games.
Still, despite not seeing significant playing time in Pittsburgh, Boykin ranked as a top-40 cornerback in 2015 (out of 111 qualified players), per Pro Football Focus. The Georgia product has always shown flashes of upside, particularly in his six-interception 2013 campaign, but has never really gotten the opportunity to be a full-time player — he has just seven career starts.
While Boykin didn’t earn a spot on PFR’s top 50 free agent list, we placed him sixth among free agent cornerbacks when we broke down 2016’s top defensive free agents, placing him ahead of veterans like Leon Hall and Patrick Robinson due to his relative youth and upside. Recently, PFR’s Dallas Robinson ranked Boykin as the fifth-best free agent still left on the board, ahead of names like Mike Neal, Chris Culliver, and Antrel Rolle.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.