Ready for payday: Tyler Boyd wants to stay in Cincy


Tyler Boyd currently sits as an underrated commodity for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Coming off a breakout 1,028-yard campaign in which the 24-year-old showed he could be a go-to target with A.J. Green injured down the stretch, Boyd enters the final year of his rookie contract ready for a big payday.

Pairing with Green to form one of the best young receiver tandems in the NFL, Boyd made it clear in an interview with Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic that he has no desire to leave Cincinnati.

"That's what I'm saying, bruh, I want to be here," Boyd said. "I think they feel that and know that. In my feeling, I think it is going to be done before camp. But ain't no telling. I'm just going to continue to keep being patient and trust the process."

Boyd, healthy for most of last season after an injury-plagued 2017, proved he can be a difference-maker for the Bengals offense. He generated five games of 90-plus yards last season and was particularly efficient generating first downs, especially on money-downs (third or fourth down). Last year, 58.1 percent of his money-down targets went for a first down or touchdown, which ranked eighth in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Teams generally pay for chain-moving talent.

Set to make just $981,000 in base salary, the former second-round pick isn't holding out this offseason in hopes of getting paid.

"I'm just trying to do what's right," Boyd said during OTAs this week. "I'm going to be a team player and go out there and work my tail off. I'm not going to try to skip out on reps or miss a day. That's the best approach to it. Typically, a guy trying to come out to a season saying, 'You have to pay me,' it shows where the care is going. He is a 'me' guy. Or, you are still working and going to be a team guy. I am not trying to strategize and make it seem like I'm just trying to do what's right (to get a deal done), that's just the way I am."

Boyd pointed to New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard, who went 15 spots ahead of the Bengals wideout in the 2016 draft, inking a four-year, $41 million contract with $21.3 million guaranteed earlier this offseason.

"I definitely look at the market and see where guys is at. A great example is Sterling Shepard. I feel like our game is kind of similar, kind of close," Boyd told Dehner. "He got four for $40 million. I kind of feel like I'm in that area. Hopefully, they come like that or a little bit more or around that way. I feel like my ability is worth that much. I feel like my value is that much. But I'm not going to go out there asking something crazy because I had one great year. I want to continue to show them that I can do that every single year, that I'm a 1,000-yard receiver every year."

The Bengals usually plan their contract re-ups for around training camp or before the start of the season. It's possible Cincy might want Boyd to prove he wasn't a one-hit wonder before they shell out huge dinero.

With A.J. Green also entering the final year of his contract, the Bengals have some interesting decisions to make this summer. Can they pay both Green and Boyd market value? Do they make Green one of the highest-paid WRs and risk losing Boyd next year? Do they attempt to get one to take less money? Whose deal does the team prioritize?

If Boyd and Green live up to their potential in 2019, we could be talking about them as the best duo in the NFL this time next year. First, the Bengals will need to lock them both down for the long haul.