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Steelers Are Competing with AFC Rival for Tyler Boyd



Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 23, 2023. -- Steelers Now / Ed Thompson
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 23, 2023. -- Steelers Now / Ed Thompson

Tyler Boyd, who officially became an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday afternoon, has interest in returning home to Pittsburgh after spending the first eight years of career with the Cincinnati Bengals, sources told Steelers Now. Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports that there is some level of mutual interest between the Steelers and Boyd.

The Steelers are not the only team interested in Boyd’s services, however. They have competition from the New England Patriots.

According to Mark Daniels of, the Patriots have shown some interest in Boyd.

“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.

The Patriots missed out on the Calvin Ridley sweepstakes, as he landed with the Tennessee Titans on a massive deal. 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 receiver position has been an issue for the Patriots for years, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they push hard for Boyd.

A second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Boyd has been Cincinnati’s primary slot receiver for six years now, working inside of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins in the team’s usual starting lineup.

Higgins and Boyd were both set to become free agents this offseason, but the Bengals used their franchise tag on Higgins, letting Boyd hit the open market.

The 29-year-old has been one of the most consistent slot receivers in the NFL. He has record at least 50 catches and at least 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.

This past season, with quarterback Joe Burrow injured, the entire Cincinnati passing offense struggled, and Boyd finished with 67 catches for 667 yards and two touchdowns, all low marks since his second season in 2017.

The Steelers have released veteran slot receiver Allen Robinson II and traded star outside receiver Diontae Johnson this month, leaving the team very needy at the wide receiver position.

Boyd would be a younger and more athletic replacement for Robinson as a primarily slot receiver that also has the ability to play on the outside.