The Bengals have had a more active free agency period than normal. They have re-signed or signed eight players. Chances are the Bengals aren’t going to do much more in free agency. What should be next? Extending Tyler Boyd is the answer.
A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd are the only stable and consistent pass catchers on Cincinnati’s roster. They are both scheduled to be free agents after the 2019 season. In a perfect world, the Bengals will be able to extend both Green and Boyd before this season. However, if the Bengals are only able to get one signed before September, the obvious answer is A.J. Green… Right?
Green is certainly a more established and proven commodity, but the answer is not that simple. Boyd just finished off a career year, even while having a backup quarterback for a handful of games. He is also younger than Green and just now starting to reach his prime. If the Bengals do not extend Boyd before the 2019 season and he keeps trending up, He may price himself right out of range for the notoriously frugal Bengals. That would pretty much kill any chance of keeping both Boyd and Green in stripes long term. He is still going to require a good size contract, but if they extend him before this coming season, It may cost them a little less than it will by the end of the year.
Green is one of the best wide receivers around. An extension would be nice, but there are still other options available to keep Green in Cincinnati without one before the season. One of those options would be to franchise tag him. Franchise tagging Green would make much more sense than franchising Boyd if the situations were reversed. The franchise tag takes the average of the top five highest wide receiver salaries in the NFL. The price of the franchise tag would be worth it to keep a guy as productive as Green.
Hopefully, the Bengals are able to lock Green and Boyd up long term before the season begins. However, it is more realistic that the Bengals are only able to extend one of them. If that holds true, Boyd is the guy. He is younger, cheaper, and there are realistic alternatives to an extension that keep Green in Cincinnati for 2020 and beyond.
Want to read more about Cincinnati’s offseason? Be sure to check out all of our Bengals coverage on Stripe Hype!
"A Look Back at The Draft That Resurrected the Bengals"