Patriots Named a Fit for $43 Million Receiver

As the New England Patriots need to rebuild the wide receiver room, Cincinnati Bengals wideout Tyler Boyd remains available.

Tyler Boyd says Steelers gave up late during Bengals win - Yahoo Sports

Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon suggested Boyd as one of the “best fits” for the Patriots on Saturday. Boyd had a four-year, $43 million deal with the Bengals, which expired before free agency.

In eight seasons, Boyd has 513 catches for 6,000 yards and 31 touchdowns. He had two 1,000-yard seasons in that span from 2018 and 2019, and Boyd averages 64.1 receptions, 750 yards, and 3.9 touchdowns annually.

“Boyd’s production dipped after the arrivals of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, but he remained an integral part of the offense with 58-plus receptions in all three seasons as the third option,” Kenyon wrote.

“After the Bengals franchise-tagged Higgins this offseason, he requested a trade. There’s no guarantee that he’ll actually leave Cincinnati, though,” Kenyon continued. “Boyd could return to the Bengals if they do move on from Higgins, but that’s hardly a guarantee.”

Last season, Boyd tallied 67 catches for 667 yards and two touchdowns, but his 2022 and 2021 performances looked more promising. Boyd had 58 receptions for 762 yards and five touchdowns in 2022 and 67 catches for 828 yards and five touchdowns in 2021.

Tyler Boyd: 6’2” 203lbs.

40% Contested catch rate in 2023, 51.7% rate for his career.

46.9% of his targets came with 3+ yards of separation in 2023

Perfect for WR3.

Boyd’s 2023 numbers alone exceeds anyone in the Patriots wide receiver room. He posted more yards than leading receiver DeMario Douglas, who had 49 catches for 561 yards and no touchdowns for the Patriots in 2023.

New England had a four-touchdown seasons from receiver Kendrick Bourne, but he only tallied 37 catches for 406 yards. JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t live up to expectations amid 29 catches for 260 yards and a touchdown.

New England Can Easily Afford Tyler Boyd

If the Patriots pursue Boyd, he wouldn’t break the bank. Spotrac projects him for $8.7 million annually or a three-year, $26.14 million deal.

The Patriots have $48.49 million in salary cap space to work with, so Boyd would fit in quite affordably. New England would also acquire a healthy, reliable receiver with the deal as he has only missed three games in the past four seasons.

Boyd last missed significant time to injury in December 2018 when he sustained an MCL sprain and missed two games. He also had an MCL sprain in October 2017, which caused him to miss four games.

Cincinnati has otherwise counted on a healthy receiver in Boyd for eight seasons. The Bengals originally selected Boyd out of Pittsburgh with a second round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Patriots Could Have Competition for Tyler Boyd

Kenyon noted a potential return to Pittsburgh but with the Steelers if the Patriots don’t snag Boyd. Other “best fits” for Boyd include the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles per Kenyon.

New England hasn’t been able to land a prime talent at wide receiver free agency yet. One target, Calvin Ridley, recently signed with the Tennessee Titans though it once looked like it would come down to the Patriots or Jacksonville Jaguars, his previous team.

While the Patriots could grab a quality wideout in the draft next month, New England looks more likely to take a quarterback at No. 3 than Ohio State star receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. That means the Patriots will likely take a receiver later in the draft whether in the second round or later.

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