Tyler Boyd

A.J. Green Expected Out 6-8 Weeks

An MRI revealed Bengals star receiver A.J. Green tore ligaments in his ankle on Saturday and is now expected to miss the next six to eight weeks, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets

What was originally expected to be just a sprain now is expected to keep the pass-catcher out through the first week of the season. Green injured the ankle at the University of Dayton’s Welcome Stadium and the field conditions were considered to be subpar, according to Shefter [Twitter link].

This is, of course, a bad way to start camp for the Bengals and Green, who missed seven games a year ago and produced career lows in catches and receptions. At the age of 31, Green has been looking to ink a new deal with Cincinnati, but considering he’s missed 13 games in the last three years, the Bengals might not be in any hurry to get something done. Green is signed through 2019 but will become a free agent in 2020.

One of the Bengals all-time greats, Green ranks second in team annals in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns to Chad Johnson. Among the most productive wideouts since entering the league in 2011, Green earned Pro Bowl honors in each of his first seven seasons and has topped 1,000 yards six times.

Cincinnati will now focus its attention on the recently re-signed Tyler Boyd, who posted 76 grabs for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018, which led to him signing a four-year deal earlier this week.

Bengals, Tyler Boyd Agree To Extension

The Bengals are signing wide receiver Tyler Boyd to a four-year, $43MM extension, league sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Boyd now will be under contract through the 2023 season. 

Prior to the deal, Boyd was set to play out the 2019 season before reaching free agency. Under the new pact, the Bengals have added four more years while Boyd has put himself in the top 20 at his position, in terms of new money average annual value. Furthermore, he’s now one of the league’s highest-paid slot receivers.

Following a pair of underwhelming seasons to begin his career, Boyd had a breakout campaign in 2018, hauling in 76 receptions for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. Part of his production could be attributed to the fact that A.J. Green missed seven games, placing Boyd atop the depth chart. On the flip side, the receiver also established a career-high catch percentage and yards-per-target.

The deal is similar that of Sterling Shepard‘s contract with the Giants, which was a four-year deal worth $41MM ($21.3MM guaranteed), a watermark that Boyd personally said he had in mind. We’re still waiting on the full details, but the contract may also mirror the one Tyrell Williams signed with the Raiders (four years, $44MM ($22MM guaranteed)).

As our own Dallas Robinson previously pointed out, Boyd topped Shepard in every offensive category this past season, and he finished higher than the Giants wideout in both Pro Football Focus‘ positional grades and Football Outsiders’ receiving metrics. Boyd’s 2019 season was comparable to Williams’ 2016 campaign, although Williams was older and coming off a pair of subpar seasons when he signed his recent deal with Oakland.

With Boyd’s contract addressed, the Bengals’ focus now must shift to Green, who has one year to go on his deal. Despite Green’s recent injury trouble, both sides have expressed a strong desire to get something done.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extension Candidate: Tyler Boyd

When it comes to extension talk in Cincinnati, much of the focus is understandably on wide receiver A.J. Green. However, the player who follows Green on the depth chart is also eligible for a sizable raise.

Former second-round receiver Tyler Boyd is set to hit free agency following the 2019 season, and Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic wrote last month that the Bengals want to extend the 24-year-old. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as the wideout broke onto the scene last year.

Following a pair of underwhelming seasons to begin his career, Boyd had a breakout campaign in 2018, hauling in 76 receptions for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. Part of his production could be attributed to the fact that Green missed seven games, placing Boyd atop the depth chart. On the flip side, the receiver also established a career-high catch percentage and yards-per-target.

Furthermore, Boyd adds a bit of toughness and personality to the Bengals, indicated by his decision to attend voluntary OTAs. As Dehner wrote, many extension-eligible players bypass these workouts in fear of an avoidable injury that could vicariously cost them millions. Boyd showed up anyway, stating that a pseudo-holdout would be an unnecessary distraction.

“I’m just trying to do what’s right,” Boyd said. “I’m going to be a team player and go out there and work my tail off. I’m not going to try to skip out on reps or miss a day. That’s the best approach to it. Typically, a guy trying to come out to a season saying, ‘you have to pay me,’ it shows where the care is going. He is a ‘me’ guy. Or, you are still working and going to be a team guy. I am not trying to strategize and make it seem like I’m just trying to do what’s right (to get a deal done), that’s just the way I am.”

So Boyd seems to be saying and doing all the right things, and he’s shown plenty of improvements on the field. So what kind of money will Boyd be eyeing on his next contract? The business-savvy receiver actually pointed to receiver Sterling Shepard‘s contract with the Giants, which was a four-year deal worth $41MM ($21.3MM guaranteed). Dehner suggested that Boyd could also focus on the deal that Tyrell Williams signed with the Raiders (four years, $44MM ($22MM guaranteed)).

As our own Dallas Robinson previously pointed out, Boyd topped Shepard in every offensive category this past season, and he finished higher than the Giants wideout in both Pro Football Focus‘ positional grades and Football Outsiders’ receiving metrics. Boyd’s 2019 season was comparable to Williams’ 2016 campaign, although Williams was older and coming off a pair of subpar seasons when he signed his recent deal with Oakland.

In other words, don’t be shocked if Boyd pushes for a contract that exceeds $11MM annually. Considering the receiver’s apparent affinity for Cincy, the guess here would be a four-year contract worth around $46MM (with a bit more than half guaranteed).

Of course, Boyd’s extension may be partly dependent on how the Bengals handle Green’s next deal. Regardless, expect Boyd’s superstar teammate to receive the first extension, at which time the front office will surely turn their focus to their fourth-year receiver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bengals WR Tyler Boyd

Bengals wide receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are both entering contract years, and Cincinnati has expressed an interest in the pair of pass-catchers. Boyd, for his part, doesn’t plan to hold out in an attempt to get a new deal, as he explained to Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic.

“I’m just trying to do what’s right,” Boyd said. “I’m going to be a team player and go out there and work my tail off. I’m not going to try to skip out on reps or miss a day. That’s the best approach to it. Typically, a guy trying to come out to a season saying, ‘you have to pay me,’ it shows where the care is going.”

Boyd, the Bengals’ second-round pick in 2016, posted a breakout season in 2018 with career-highs in receptions (76), yards (1,028), and touchdowns (seven). He did all that while playing in only 14 games, as a late-season MCL sprain knocked him out for the year’s final two contests. Under new head coach Zac Taylor, Boyd will start in two-wide sets and move to the slot in three-wide receiver looks. He played 552 of his 773 offensive snaps in the slot in 2018.

“I definitely look at the market and see where guys is at,” said Boyd. “A great example is Sterling Shepard. I feel like our game is kind of similar, kind of close. He got four for $40MM. I kind of feel like I’m in that area. Hopefully, they come like that or a little bit more or around that way.”

If Boyd is willing to accept Shepard’s contract — which was actually for $41MM and contained $16.2MM in guarantees — the Bengals should probably work to close the deal. Boyd topped Shepard in every offensive category and finished higher than the Giants wideout in both Pro Football Focus‘ positional grades and Football Outsiders’ receiving metrics.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals WR Tyler Boyd Suffers MCL Sprain

Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd suffered a low-grade MCL sprain, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). With only two weeks left in the season, this will likely spell the end of his 2018 campaign. 

Boyd topped 1,000 yards in Sunday’s win over the Raiders and showed a ton of promise on the whole this year. The 2016 second-round pick is only under contract through the 2019 season, so extension talks should be on the horizon. At that point, Boyd will be in store for a big payday.

This marked a season of all new career highs for the 24-year-old as he reeled in 76 grabs for 1,028 yards and seven touchdowns. It was the breakout the Bengals needed as star A.J. Green battled injuries throughout the year.

Unfortunately, Boyd’s performance wasn’t enough to keep the Bengals afloat. At 6-8, the Bengals are out of the playoff hunt and mostly playing for pride in their final two contests against the Browns and Steelers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

WR Tyler Boyd Open To Signing Extension

Tyler Boyd is having a breakout season, and he could surely expect a lucrative payday once his rookie deal expires after next season. However, it sounds like the Bengals wideout isn’t all that focused on hitting free agency, as Boyd told Jay Morrison of The Athletic that he’s open to signing an extension with Cincinnati.

“I’m very open for an extension,” the 24-year-old said. “I definitely think about that at times because all the hard work and what I’ve done has showed why I should get paid. But at the end of the day, I’m here to play football and I want them to know that. It ain’t all about the money. I love to play the game. Yes, I want to get the money because I’m working my tail off.

“I’m comfortable here. I like it here. I like the guys that are here. I like the coaches. And I know we have the team to be great. We just have to keep everybody healthy and keep everybody rolling and just stay together. A lot of times there’s a lot of ups and downs, but if we can keep the train going straight, keep everything going straight, no stops or nothing, we can be unbeatable. We can be like the Chiefs in this league.”

Boyd is proving why the Bengals used a second-round pick on him (55th overall) during the 2016 draft. The third-year player has already established career-highs in receptions (69), receiving yards (938), and touchdowns (six) this season, and he could be the first Bengals player not named A.J. Green to lead the team in receiving since 2010.

The last time the Bengals had such a reliable second receiver was 2015, when Marvin Jones hauled in 812 receiving yards. While Jones signed a five-year deal to be the top receiver in Detroit, Boyd said he isn’t concerned about playing second-fiddle to Green.

“The reason that situation works out for me, I feel like me and A.J. are two different players,” Boyd said. “I can work the slot a lot. I can accumulate a lot of yards in the slot. Marvin wasn’t that guy. Marvin ain’t that type of player to accumulate a lot of big yards in the slot. He knew in order for him to get a lot of catches and a lot of yards and be that guy he had to be a No. 1 because he plays the same position as A.J. That’s why that didn’t work out.

“That was his last year of his contract. He could either stay or leave. He had that option. I’m really stuck between.”

Boyd is set to make $1.03MM next season. He’ll hit unrestricted free agency if he doesn’t sign an extension before the 2020 offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Charges Against Bengals’ Tyler Boyd Dropped

Drug charges against Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd have been dismissed, as ESPN.com’s Katherine Terrell writes. Boyd was facing charges of possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia after a car crash in July, but he’ll no longer have to worry about legal consequences stemming from the incident. 

Boyd’s wrecked car was found by police after 3 a.m. on a July day with several bottles of alcohol and multiple vape pens that tested positive for THC. However, Boyd said that a friend of his was driving the car and that person later admitted to being behind the wheel.

Had he been convicted in this case, Boyd would have been likely to face league discipline given that he was charged with a DUI in college. Although the league cannot punish players retroactively for pre-NFL incidents, his history would have been a factor. The league can still fine or suspend players for cases that do not result in convictions, but that seems less likely given the circumstances in this instance.

Boyd, 24 in November, missed games due to injury in 2017 and was not targeted all that much when he was on the field. He became more involved in the offense late in the season, however, with ten catches for 130 yards and one touchdown in his final two games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Steelers, Big Ben, Ravens

Following yesterday’s five-interception against the Jaguars, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger offered a concise report of his performance. “Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” Roethlisberger told Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link). While Roethlisberger could have been hoping for levity after a brutal loss, the comments do call into question just how much longer Roethlisberger will play, especially given that he’s contemplated retirement on multiple occasions. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the idea of forfeiting bonus money could have swayed Roethlisberger into continuing his career in 2017, but that concept will continue in the next few years. If Roethlisberger hangs up it after this season, for example, he’d owe the Steelers $12.4MM in bonus money (of course, Pittsburgh isn’t obligated to collect that total).

Here’s more from the AFC North:

  • Ravens running back Terrance West is expected to miss time after suffering a calf injury on Sunday, but he won’t facing a lengthy absence, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). West, 26, had been splitting carries with Javorius Allen and Alex Collins, and had managed 39 rushes for 138 yards and two touchdowns this season. With West sidelined, Allen figures to see even more work (he toted the ball 21 times on Sunday) while Collins could also see increased usage. But Baltimore may need to add a running back, as Allen and Collins are the only healthy runners on the roster. Practice squader John Crockett is a candidate for promotion.
  • Tyler Boyd will also be out for a few weeks, as the Bengals receiver sprained his MCL in Week 5, tweets Rapoport. Boyd, who is facing a possible legal situation and was mysteriously a healthy scratch in Week 2, has been almost completely phased out of Cincinnati’s offense this season. The former second-round pick has been targeted only nine times, and managed just six receptions for 43 yards.
  • The Ravens will be without yet another offensive lineman for the next several weeks, as guard Matt Skura suffered a sprained MCL and will miss two-to-four games, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Skura, who has started three games for the Ravens this season, will likely give way to rookie Jermaine Eluemunor at right guard. Baltimore has already lost front five players Marshal Yanda, Alex Lewis, and Nico Siragusa to injury.
  • Free agent safeties Harold Jones-Quartey and Malik Smith, plus offensive tackles Korren Kirven and Victor Salako, worked out for the Browns, per veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Of that foursome, only Jones-Quartey has NFL experience, as the 24-year-old started 12 games for the Bears in 2016.

Impact Rookies: Cincinnati Bengals

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

Today, we continue PFR’s Impact Rookie series with his insight on the Cincinnati Bengals’ draft class:

The Bengals are soon to reap the benefits from another solid draft, as the first four selections in 2016 all appear to be of starting quality. Their cache from the 2015 draft saw all ten of those selections play for the team last year. They were so impressed with one of their late round finds, that the team let go several key pieces in their secondary to bring fresh legs into the fold. Now, all seven of their draft picks in 2016 have the same opportunity as the previous draft class to claim roster spots.

First Round – William Jackson III, CB (Houston, No. 24)

The Bengals let Leon Hall walk in order to keep Adam Jones, as the right cornerback signed a three-year deal that keeps him in the fold until 2019. The team will make a strong effort to keep Dre Kirkpatrick around as the left cornerback, but he is a free agent after the season and might be in line for a big deal if he can improve upon his 2015 performance. William Jackson III (vertical)

In 2015, the Bengals covered their potential loss of Andre Smith by drafting two tackles. This year, the Bengals tapped William Jackson III as insurance against Kirkpatrick’s possible departure. If Kirkpatrick goes, then Jackson and 2014 first-round pick Darqueze Dennard will be counted upon to lead the secondary in 2017 and beyond.

Jackson was considered a “lockdown corner” for the Houston Cougars after he appeared in thirteen games and finished second in the American Athletic Conference with ten pass breakups in 2014. He also picked off two passes and tallied 37 tackles. Last season, the All-American led the nation and set a Houston single-season record with 23 pass deflections. He also led the nation in passes defended with 28, finishing 20th with five interceptions. He concluded his career ranked third on the UH career passes broken up chart with 40, despite only playing three seasons.

Some other “good news” numbers include Jackson recording six turnovers and coming up with 22 third-down stops. On the “bad news” scale, while he defended so many passes, it could be due to quarterbacks constantly throwing into his area. The Cougar was targeted 93 times in 2016, allowing 41 receptions (44.09%) for 460 yards, an average of 11.22 yards per grab, with receivers totaling seven big plays (20 yards or longer) and twenty first downs vs. the defender, reaching the end zone three times. In run support, he made just five tackles.

Jackson is certainly not going to impress you with being a great physical presence on the field, but he does demonstrate excellent speed (4.37 in the 40-yard dash) and jump- ball timing. He is very consistent in being “getting into the face” of a receiver. He opens his hips well when asked to handle switch-offs on deep patterns and moves well in space, but he certainly lacks any sort of punch and physicality when required to deliver press coverage (recorded ten reps in the 225-pound bench press drill). His leaping ability helps him get to most balls though and he always seems to get his hands on the pigskin, even when he isn’t in great position.

Jackson fails to sink his hips low enough or explode into his hits when asked to wrap and tackle in run support. Still, as a pass defender, his timing is impeccable, evident by his nation-leading 28 passes defended that included five interceptions in 2015.

Read more about the Bengals’ 2016 rookie class..

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Draft Signings: Bengals, Broncos, Jags, Chiefs

We’ve compiled the latest draft pick signings below:

  • The Bengals have officially signed second-round pick Tyler Boyd, as Paul Dehner Jr. of The Enquirer tweets. The wideout is also a talented kick returner, having averaged 24.4 yards per return last season.
  • Broncos fifth-round pick Connor McGovern signed his rookie contract, as Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post tweets. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver tweets that the guard will receive a $263,900 signing bonus.
  • The Jaguars signed fourth-round defensive tackle Sheldon Day, as Wilson tweets.
  • The Chiefs have signed their fourth-round pick, cornerback Eric Murray, and fifth-round pick, wideout Ty Hill, tweets Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star.