Steelers, WR Tyler Boyd Showing Mutual Interest

MARCH 18: Providing an update on the situation, Kaboly notes there are some within the Steelers’ organization who are “not 100% on board” with a Boyd agreement. A Pittsburgh agreement could still be in the works, but he adds such a development seems less likely now than it did last week. The Chiefs and Jets could be in on Boyd if he does not join his hometown team.

MARCH 13: The Steelers refuse to shy away from talent in their own division this offseason. A day after signing rival Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen, Pittsburgh is reportedly sharing mutual interest with long-time Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd, per Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

Boyd hasn’t quite been a priority for Cincinnati as they deal with the potential future extensions of Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase. That tune is sure to change after Higgins requested a trade in response to being franchise-tagged two days ago. Despite falling to third in the pecking order in recent years, Boyd showed that he was more than capable of producing in a WR2 role when Higgins missed five games this season.

Boyd’s best production came at the tail end of his rookie contract, when he caught 166 passes for 2,074 yards and 12 touchdowns over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. That production was enough for the Bengals to sign Boyd to a four-year, $43MM extension, which just expired. While Boyd has failed to reach 1,000 yards receiving or seven touchdowns since, he’s still provided strong contributions despite competing with Chase and Higgins for targets.

Boyd’s 667 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 2023 were his lowest season totals since his sophomore season, when he missed six games. Further muddying a potential continued future in his current home is the Bengals’ notorious avoidance of doling out third contracts to veterans.

Pittsburgh makes sense for Boyd, since he played in Acrisure Stadium (Heinz Field at that time) for all of his college years as a Pitt Panther. A Pittsburgh-area-native out of Clairton HS, signing with the division-rival Steelers would be a homecoming for Boyd. Throw in the recent departure of veteran wideout Diontae Johnson via trade last night, and Boyd fits right in. In Pittsburgh, Boyd would immediately become a starting veteran presence in a receiving corps that currently only boasts George Pickens as an experienced starter.

It’s seems to be a move that makes sense for both parties. Cincinnati may decide that Boyd is worth breaking their precious custom, as they did with Trey Hendrickson last year, in order to keep their receiving trio together. Pittsburgh may opt to go a younger route in free agency or even through the draft. The Steelers do often hit on their draft swings at wide receiver, but Boyd’s experience could be just what Russell Wilson needs in 2024.

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