Steelers not budging on contract offer for top free-agent receiver - Sport News

Steelers not budging on contract offer for top free-agent receiver

Tyler Boyd is one of several veteran wideouts still on the market, and Steelers connections persist in his case. The chance of a Pittsburgh deal remains, but the team appears to have set a firm price point.

Steelers not budging on contract offer for top free-agent WR

A mutual interest was reported to exist between Boyd and his hometown team early in free agency. The 29-year-old has faced an uncertain future with the Bengals for some time now, owing to his contract status and those of fellow receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase. Both represent higher priorities on lucrative new deals, leaving Boyd on track to join a new team this offseason for the first time in his career.

The Diontae Johnson-less Steelers are a logical landing spot for the former second-rounder. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes, though, that Pittsburgh has made an offer to Boyd and is not prepared to increase it. The latter would take on a starter’s role in a receiver room which saw Johnson get traded to the Panthers after Allen Robinson‘s release. Numerous complementary players (including Quez Watkins and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson) have been added, but Boyd would provide an experienced slot producer.

The latter recorded at least 828 yards every year from 2018-21, but he has seen his role in the offense diminish with the emergence of Chase and Higgins. Boyd notched 667 yards and two touchdowns in 2023, a notable step back from his production of years past. Given his age, though, the Pitt alum could still be an effective contributor in a Steelers offense which figures to be run-heavy under new OC Arthur Smith.

The Chiefs and Jets were also named as potential landing spots for Boyd. However, Kansas City has since signed Marquise Brown, while New York has brought in Mike Williams. Any further WR moves from those teams would likely come during the upcoming draft as a result. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin recently noted the depth of highly-acclaimed wideouts in the 2024 class and Pittsburgh will have a number of opportunities to add a rookie at the position.

Boyd’s market has not seen much movement in recent weeks, so it will be interesting to see how he proceeds. His now-expired Bengals contract carried an average of $10.75M over four years. An AAV or term matching that pact would come as a surprise this offseason, but he could still manage to land a notable short-term contract if a team other that the Steelers were to emerge as a serious suitor.

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