Tyler Boyd is not hesitant to make it public that he’d like a new contract, but there’s a certain way he wants to approach the whole process.
Boyd, after an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, broke out with 76 catches for 1,028 yards and seven scores in 2018, his third season with the Cincinnati Bengals. Boyd is now entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract and is set to collect a $980,769 base salary for 2019 — far below the income of players with similar statistical outputs.
It’s common for players in search of a new contract to sit out this part of their team’s offseason program. It is voluntary, after all. But Boyd has been present for every part of the Bengals’ OTAs.
In an interview with The Athletic, Boyd explained his thought process as he tries to reach an agreement with the Bengals on an extension:
“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.”
Boyd wants to stay with Bengals, but it won’t come cheap
Boyd caught 54 passes for 603 yards and a score as a rookie before a disappointing sophomore output. That season, he caught just 22 passes in 10 games and seemed to be falling down the Bengals’ depth chart. But he rebounded in a big way in 2018, emerging as one of the offense’s top playmakers, especially when A.J. Green was sidelined with a toe injury.
Boyd’s work in 2018 put him in the position for a significant bump in pay and he made it clear that he wants to stay with the Bengals, the team that selected him second round out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2016.
Boyd is also aware of the wide receiver market.
“I kind of feel like I’m in that area. Hopefully, they come like that or a little bit more or around that way. I feel like my ability is worth that much. I feel like my value is that much,” Boyd told The Athletic. “But I’m not going to go out there asking something crazy because I had one great year. I want to continue to show them that I can do that every single year, that I’m a 1,000-yard receiver every year.”
The Bengals have traditionally taken care of contract negotiations in the lead-up to training camp and the regular season. Boyd knows this and is also aware that Green, a seven-time Pro Bowler, is also entering the final year of his deal.
That’s a duo the Bengals undoubtedly want to lock up long term.
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