The Cincinnati Bengals have signed wide receiver Tyler Boyd to his rookie contract.
Boyd, a former Pittsburgh Panthers star, was drafted with the No. 55 pick in Round 2 of the 2016 NFL Draft. According to Over The Cap, Boyd's rookie contract is for four years and $4,258,972, an average of $1,064,743 per year.
"We're excited to have Tyler officially in the fold," head coach Marvin Lewis said. "He had such a productive career at Pittsburgh. A great receiver, and he's also rushed the ball and thrown it. He's done it all there, kick returns, too. He's competitive and strong. He's great with the ball in his hands, he does a great job of using his body to create separation, and he seems to understand the game very well. He's a good fit for us and where we want to go moving forward."
One of the best college receivers of the past three years, Boyd joined Pitt in 2013 as a four-star recruit and made an immediate impact. He caught 85 balls for 1,174 yards with seven touchdowns, landing him on the Freshman All-American first-team list.
Boyd followed that up with 78 grabs for 1,261 yards and eight scores while his 27.6-yard kickoff return average ranked 10th in the NCAA in 2014. Things were looking great for Boyd at this point as he was coming in very high in the 2016 mock drafts prior to the 2015 college football season.
But that year, Boyd was suspended for the first game against Youngstown State after a DUI charge from an arrest that took place in June. He still finished with a career-high 91 catches this past season, but only for 926 yards and six scores. Pitt didn't have much of a passing game though as Nathan Peterman was more of a game manager. That helped lead to the Panthers' offense being geared more toward the run, which helped lead to Boyd's drop in production.
Regardless of who's throwing him the ball, Boyd plays with great body control and hands. According to Pro Football Focus, Boyd dropped just 10 of 182 catchable passes over the course of the past two seasons. He's a reliable receiver, and he will add to the Bengals' already lethal red zone offense.
Boyd also averaged 24.4 yards on kickoff returns and 8.8 yards on punt returns, which could be an added bonus for the team who drafts him. Everyone knows how Brandon Tate has been winning the main returner role by default most seasons, so it looks like he finally has some competition from a fellow receiver.
"We're really excited with the addition of Tyler," Lewis said after the Bengals selected Boyd in the Draft. "He had such a productive career at the University of Pittsburgh. He got off to such a great start and has been productive in catches and receptions each year. He's carried the football, thrown the football — he's done it all there. He's a competitive, strong football player, so it's a good fit for us and where we are right now moving forward."
Boyd joins Nick Vigil, Cody Core and Clayton Fejedelem as the Bengals' Draft picks who have signed their contracts. William Jackson, Andrew Billings and Christian Westerman all remain unsigned as of now.