Tyler Boyd is coming off the best season of his young career.
He was the Bengals’ second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but after a promising rookie campaign, Boyd slid into virtual irrelevance for most of the 2017 season. Everything came together last year when he topped 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in only 14 games.
Now, we are at that point where Boyd is entering the final year of rookie contract. Boyd and the Bengals have less than a year until the 24-year old becomes an unrestricted free agent in the 2020 offseason. That is something that Boyd doesn’t want. If it were up to him, he’d stay in Cincinnati.
“I want to be here,” Boyd told Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic. “I think they feel that and know that. In my feeling, I think it is going to be done before camp. But ain’t no telling. I’m just going to continue to keep being patient and trust the process.”
Even when that is the case, it is pretty common to see players skip voluntary workouts or even training camp in order to secure a second contract. Not only does that motivate the team to get the deal done so the player returns to practice, it helps prevent putting the player into a more obvious risk of injury at such a crucial time of negotiations.
History with the Bengals have show that they want to get contract extensions done before the start of the regular season, so this is a very crucial time period for Boyd, but he doesn’t want to follow that path of sitting out. He wants his intentions to be clear.
“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.”
It is great for the Bengals that Boyd feels this way. It also helps show what kind of player he is to the rest of the team.
Just because a player takes into account his financial interests during contract negotiations doesn’t make him less of a team player. At the end of the day, it is all well and good that you want to put your best foot forward as a player, but if you were to get seriously injured it isn’t like any NFL team is going to take that good will into account.
Boyd proved last season that he can be the player Cincinnati thought they were getting in on Day 2 of the draft three years ago. It will just be a matter of how much that’s worth.