Titans sign Former Cincinnati Bengals to 1-year deal

Former Cincinnati Bengals wideout Tyler Boyd made his name over the last few seasons for being one of the more reliable slot receivers in the league. The veteran has been with the Bengals since 2016, helping the offense transition from the Andy Dalton to the Joe Burrow era.

Titans sign Former Cincinnati Bengals to 1-year deal

Now, Boyd is a Tennessee Titan, as he signed a one-year deal Tuesday, via The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov. The move reunites him with head coach Brian Callahan, who served as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator from 2019 to 2023.The contract is worth up to $4.5 million, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Boyd now joins a receiving core that includes Deandre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, and 2022 first-round pick Treylon Burks. How will the Pitt alum fit into the puzzle?

Tyler Boyd should be able to do damage as a slot maven with the Titans

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) catches a pass in the first quarter of the NFL 16 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023.
© Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Boyd has put together a solid NFL career, totaling 513 catches for exactly 6,000 yards and 31 touchdowns. He’s averaged 750 yards a season, and he helped Cincinnati develop the likes of Tee Higgins and Jamar Chase. Boyd ranks sixth in franchise history in receiving yards, fourth in catches, and 31st in touchdowns. The 29-year-old also led the Bengals in total receptions from 2018 to 2020.

Now, Boyd will compete to be the third receiver behind Hopkins and Ridley. His main competitors will be Burks and Nick Westbrook-Ikinhe, neither of whom has been as effective at the NFL level thus far. Burks has 665 yards and one touchdown after two seasons, while Westbrook-Ikinhe has totaled 1,276 yards and 10 scores across four years.

The latter two players have youth on their side, as they’re aged 24 and 27, respectively. However, Boyd will have the upper hand based on skill and seniority.

With the departure of star running back Derrick Henry this offseason, the Titans may be inclined to transition to a more pass-heavy offense going forward. 24-year-old signal-caller Will Levis showed promising signs in his rookie campaign last year, and it could help his development to turn him loose completely.

In that case, Boyd would see plenty of targets come his way. The 2016 second-round pick could use a rebound after his subpar year last season, when he totaled 67 receptions for 667 yards and two touchdowns. The yardage and touchdown totals were both his lowest since 2017, and he only had one 100-yard game all season.

While Tennessee did sign former Cowboys tailback Tony Pollard to replace Henry, it’s hard to imagine the club running its offense through him in the same way. Pollard is a quality player, but Henry’s been dominant, putting together 1,000-yard rushing seasons in nearly every year since 2018. The only exception was in 2021, when he totaled 937 yards on the ground due to getting hurt.

If Boyd can garner north of 100 targets, he should be able to get back to his regular form. He garnered triple-digit targets in his prime stretch from 2018-2020 but hasn’t gotten back to that level of production since. This probably had a lot to do with the rise of Chase and Higgins, so leaving their shadow might’ve been the best possible move for his career.

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