There exists an interesting dichotomy at the wide receiver position. It seems that, from an outside (fan) perspective, the flashy wideouts who stretch the field down the sideline garner the fanfare and Pro Bowl votes.
But, with those who are employed within professional stadium and locker room walls, receivers who man the inside garner a different level of respect. Reliable hands, a willingness to take big hits and, often times, a lack of end zone trips relinquished to those “boundary guys” earn a high level of respect.
Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd is one such player. After some early career bumps in the road, No. 83 has solidified himself as one of, if not the best slot receivers in the NFL.
And, he’s going to be a big part of the Bengals’ arsenal in 2022 once again.
- Height: 6-foot-2
- Weight: 203 pounds
- Age: 27 (28 in November)
- Position: Wide Receiver
- College: Pittsburgh
- Hometown: Clairton, Pennsylvania
- Experience: Entering seventh season
Boyd is signed through the 2023 season after signing a contract extension back in the summer of 2019. His base salary is $8,250,000 (per OverTheCap.com) and has bonuses worth up to $1.85 million.
He accounts for 4.8% of the Bengals’ total salary cap this season with a cap number of $10.1 million. 2022 is the first season where dead money is in play for his contract extension, with $2.8 million hitting the Bengals’ books if he were to be cut before June 1st and a cap savings of $7.3 million.
Coming out of the University of Pittsburgh, Boyd was pretty much the lone receiving threat for the Panthers throughout his tenure. He had the likes of Tom Savage and James Conner surrounding him, but Boyd cemented his name as a constant college producer.
In 2014, Boyd had a whopping 78 catches for 1,281 yards and eight touchdowns with Chad Voytik under center. He followed that up with 91 catches and six more scores in 2015, as Nathan Peterman took over.
Boyd parlayed those seasons into becoming a second-round pick. Some folks loved the pick for the Bengals, but others criticized it because of his perceived lack of speed (4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash).
Initially, Boyd took a back seat to budding star A.J. Green and veteran Brandon LaFell. Still, with Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones bolting in free agency a month before he was drafted by the Bengals, a route for immediate contributions existed for Boyd.
He took advantage as a rookie in 2016, notching 54 catches for 603 yards and a score. Unfortunately, injuries and a disappointing season from the team altogether led to Boyd having a major dip in production in his second season.
But, his heroics against the Ravens in the 2017 season finale marked a turning point in his NFL career. Since then, he’s averaged 78 catches, 936 yards and over five touchdowns per season.
He was a major force, be it by leadership or on-field production in the team’s Super Bowl LVI run. The hope is that he and the team continue the trend again in 2022.
With the respective rises of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in the passing game, it’s easy to believe that Boyd we will start to see a slight decrease in stats as he gets older and those two hit their prime. While there’s merit to that argument (2021 marked his lowest receptions and yards totals since 2017), Boyd will continue to be an offensive staple for for Cincinnati this year.
No. 83 will undoubtedly do the dirty work “between the 20s”, and, as more attention gets paid to Chase and Higgins, Boyd will have far more single coverage looks to exploit. “The Big Three” should continue to statistically thrive with Joe Burrow under center playing point guard to his talented receiving corps.
Oh, and he’s a heck of a nice guy. We had the pleasure of meeting him over opening week last year at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, and he was extremely friendly and affable (that’s him with my nephew).
Roster odds: One. Hundred. Percent.