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Steelers, Tyler Boyd in Contract Standoff

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tyler Boyd appear to be far apart on money in their contract negotiations at this time.



Pittsburgh Steelers WR Tyler Boyd
Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dec. 23, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Free-agent wide receiver Tyler Boyd remains unsigned after being on the open market for nearly two weeks. Boyd and veteran wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. are the best available receivers for the Pittsburgh Steelers to snag.

Two weeks ago, it was reported and confirmed to Steelers Now that the Steelers and Boyd had mutual interest, but nothing has happened just yet. Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes that money is the only glaring factor that is keeping the Steelers and Boyd from striking a deal.

“I think the Steelers view any of these current wide receiver free agents as number threes. … I just don’t think they want to pay $8-9 million a year for a guy who’s going to be a number three,” Fittipaldo said on 93.7 The Fan.

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic had a similar report to Fittipaldo on Friday, as he stated the team just does not want to give Boyd more money. That sentiment was confirmed to Steelers Now, and it is the main holdup in negotiations advancing past the stage they are at right now, which is a stalemate.

“The Steelers have not been willing to bump up their offer to free-agent wideout Tyler Boyd, making that signing a longshot,” Kaboly said.

A second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Boyd was Cincinnati’s primary slot receiver for six years, working inside Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in the team’s usual starting. The 29-year-old has been one of the most consistent slot receivers in the NFL. He has recorded at least 50 catches and 600 receiving yards in seven of his eight seasons. His best years came in 2018-19 when he exceeded 1,000 yards for the only two times in his career lineup.

The Steelers have competition from the New England Patriots. According to Mark Daniels of, the Patriots have shown some interest in Boyd. Kaboly also noted recently that the biggest hurdle in Boyd to Steelers conversation are the Kansas City Chiefs with dark horse being the New York Jets.

“At this point, the level of ‘interest’ is the team is doing its due diligence on the 29-year-old veteran, who’s played all eight NFL seasons in Cincinnati,” Daniels wrote.

Boyd would give the Patriots another slot receiver to go with Demario Douglas. The Patriots also have Kendrick Bourne, Jalen Reagor, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, Kawaan Baker and T.J. Luther on their wide receiver depth chart.

The Steelers’ wide receivers room lacks more depth than even the Patriots right now. George Pickens and Calvin Austin III are their only returning receivers that received playing time in 2023. They’ll need to be urgent in the Boyd sweepstakes if they want to land him.

If the Steelers miss out on a receiver in free agency, they’ll have to draft at least two receivers. And it wouldn’t be surprising if they selected one in the first round.