SATURDAY, 3:50pm: Boykin signed a one-year deal worth $760K, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. The fifth-year cornerback’s contract counts at $600K on the Bears’ cap sheet.
WEDNESDAY, 7:04pm: The Bears have signed free agent cornerback Brandon Boykin to an undisclosed contract, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times was among those to report (Twitter link). In addition to Boykin, the Bears have added free agent wide receiver B.J. Daniels, thus bringing their roster to the 90-player maximum.
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This offseason has been a tumultuous one for the 26-year-old Boykin, who is joining his second employer in recent months. After he could only find a one-year free agent deal with the Panthers in March, the defending NFC champions then released Boykin in May. A June report stated that Boykin had career-threatening hip problems, a rumor Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake started. Boykin spent last season in Pittsburgh, where he played under Lake and ranked as a top 40 cornerback in the league (out of 111 qualified players), per Pro Football Focus.
Prior to joining the Steelers in a trade last summer, Boykin was an Eagle from 2012-14 after they used a fourth-round pick on him. The ex-Georgia Bulldog appeared in all 48 regular-season games with the Eagles, logged six starts and picked off seven passes – six of which came in 2013. Between those three seasons and his year in Pittsburgh, Boykin has never missed a regular-season game.
After the Panthers released him and before the Bears signed Boykin, the slot corner drew interest from two other NFC teams, the Falcons and Cowboys. He’ll now push for a roster spot in a Chicago secondary whose top four corners consist of Kyle Fuller, Tracy Porter, Bryce Callahan and fourth-round rookie Deiondre’ Hall, as Roster Resource shows. Of the three veterans, only Fuller earned an above-average PFF grade last year. If healthy, then, it seems Boykin will have a strong chance to make the Bears’ roster and perhaps accrue notable playing time this season.
Daniels, meanwhile, is now part of his fifth NFL franchise since the 49ers picked him in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. The former South Florida quarterback has spent time at both QB and receiver in the pros. In his eight appearances (six with the Seahawks, two with the Texans) last year, he lined up at wideout and on special teams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.