Bengals veteran WR being pursued by multiple teams


Tyler Boyd has been connected to a host of teams this offseason. The veteran remains one of the market’s top wide receivers, but the longtime Bengals slot presence clearly has not seen his market reach an acceptable price point.

Tied to the Chiefs, Jets and his hometown Steelers thus far, Boyd may have some other options. The Chargers, Dolphins, Lions and 49ers each showed some preliminary interest in the eight-year veteran, The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly notes (subscription required). A few of these teams still have a need at the position.

The Lions had hoped to retain Josh Reynolds, but a lower-end offer emerged with the team expecting Jameson Williams to grow into a No. 2 wideout role alongside Amon-Ra St. Brown. Reynolds then decided to sign with the Broncos, leaving the Lions with an ancillary need at wide receiver. Considering what Reynolds signed for in Denver (two years, $9M), his Lions offer does not indicate the team is comfortable spending much on a receiver — especially during an offseason in which St. Brown could sign a top-tier extension.

Odell Beckham Jr. has already negotiated terms with the Dolphins, who have submitted an offer. But the former Giants superstar remains unsigned. The Dolphins are also looking for a WR3, though they probably have Lions-like plans here due to Tyreek Hill‘s market-setting contract. The team could still keep Jaylen Waddle on a low-end salary for 2024 — with his soon-to-be-exercised fifth-year option tying him to Miami through 2025 — while dropping Tua Tagovailoa‘s 2024 cap number ($23.2M) by a bit via an extension. That would open a salary slot for a one-year WR rental.

The 49ers devoting much of their funds to another wide receiver would be highly unlikely, considering Deebo Samuel‘s salary and Brandon Aiyuk‘s fifth-year option on their cap sheet. The Chargers, however, would make more sense because of the team’s cost-cutting decisions last month — cutting Mike Williams (now a Jet) and trading Keenan Allen to the Bears. The Bolts have been connected to a wideout at No. 5 overall, but the team is open for business with that pick as the Jim Harbaugh era begins.

Circling back to the Boyd-Steelers path, a return home for the Pittsburgh alum may be unlikely. Boyd, 29, showed significant interest in returning home early in free agency; the Steelers were also on board with a signing. Despite the Steelers having a need after trading Diontae Johnson, Kaboly adds the ship has likely sailed here. Boyd was not pleased with the offer the Steelers made. The team, known to identify quality receiving talent in the draft, recently set a firm price point.

With Reynolds off the market, Beckham, Boyd, Hunter Renfrow, Michael Thomas and Marquez Valdes-Scantling represent the top players still available in this high-profile position. It appears Boyd will have a chance to land somewhere soon, but it might be at a rate lower than he expected. Boyd played out a four-year, $43M extension with the Bengals last season.

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