As the Cincinnati Bengals enter the most important offseason in franchise history, difficult decisions are going to have to be made. One of the toughest ones for the front office to answer is what to do with wide receiver Tyler Boyd.
Boyd, a second-round pick by the Bengals in the 2016 NFL Draft, has been a stud for Cincinnati since arriving in town seven years ago. His best seasons came in 2018 and 2019 when the team was still in the Andy Dalton era. Boyd had 1,000+ yards in each of those two seasons.
Boyd signed a contract extension with the team tying him to them through the end of the 2023 season. In 2019, he was one of the few bright spots and even though he hasn't been a WR1 since the Bengals drafted Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase, he's still been a good player and teammate.
Boyd never complained about not getting targets in 2021 and has been a team player through and through. That's why it's hard to even discuss what should happen next when it comes to his future in Cincinnati.
It's time for the Bengals to part ways with Tyler Boyd, as hard as it may be.
According to Spotrac, Boyd carries a $10.2 million cap hit if he sticks around and the Bengals will save $8.8 million by releasing or trading him. In an offseason where the organization needs to extend their star quarterback and keep other key pieces, that's money that can go to more important aspects on the roster.
Don't get me wrong, Boyd is a huge piece on this offense but he's not irreplaceable. To fill his void, the Bengals can spend a draft pick on a wide receiver, which would cost far less than keeping Boyd in town.
It's been obvious that Boyd has been the odd man out since Chase arrived and now that it's time to pay Higgins (and will be time to pay Chase next year), the Bengals need to rip the bandaid off and move onto the era where they don't have an elite trio of receivers.
Cutting Boyd isn't something Bengals fans are really entertaining and it's probably because he's a fan favorite. I get that it'd be difficult to say goodbye to him but it's the right move for this team in the long run.