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Bengals $44 Million Veteran Could Be ‘Replaced Through the Draft’



The Cincinnati Bengals are facing an interesting offseason regarding their wide receiver corps in 2024. With Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd both set to hit free agency, alongside the eligibility of superstar Ja’Marr Chase for an extension, the team will have some tough decisions to make. Despite having significant available cap space, it’s improbable that all three pass-catchers will receive new contracts simultaneously.

According to Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, Boyd might be the odd man out in this scenario. In his analysis of the Bengals’ roster strengths heading into the offseason, Ballentine acknowledged the team’s impressive pass-catching options but hinted at potential challenges in retaining all of them.

He described Boyd as “one of the most overqualified No. 3 receivers in the league,” emphasizing his consistent performance. However, with Higgins and Boyd entering free agency and Joe Mixon’s significant cap hit, maintaining the current wide receiver group could be challenging.

Ballentine speculated that Higgins might be a candidate for the franchise tag, while Boyd’s departure could be addressed through the NFL Draft, suggesting that the Bengals may opt for younger and more cost-effective options to replace him.

Will Tyler Boyd’s 8-Year Run With Bengals End in 2024?

Tyler Boyd, originally selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, has been a consistent presence in the team’s lineup throughout his eight-year career. Known for his proficiency as a slot receiver, Boyd has recorded two 1,000-yard seasons since entering the league.

Throughout his tenure in Cincinnati, Boyd has demonstrated remarkable consistency, missing only one season where he appeared in fewer than 14 games. His reliability on the field has been reflected in his earnings, as he secured a four-year extension worth approximately $44.03 million, surpassing the initially promised $43 million with incentives factored in.

However, as Boyd approaches age 30 in November, he finds himself at a crossroads in his career. While his track record suggests he’s deserving of another lucrative contract, the Bengals face significant financial considerations with key players like Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase also in need of new deals.

Given the team’s priorities and financial constraints, it appears that the 2024 offseason could mark the end of Boyd’s tenure with the Bengals unless he’s willing to accept a reduced salary to remain in Cincinnati.

Bengals Could Tap Into Strong WR Class in Round 1 or 2 of NFL Draft

The Cincinnati Bengals face an important decision regarding their wide receiver corps, particularly with the potential departures of Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd in free agency. While the Bengals have the option to address their offensive line needs with their first-round pick, they still have several viable wide receiver options available in the first and second rounds of the draft.

Among the wide receiver prospects who could be available in the first and second rounds are LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr., North Carolina’s Devontez Walker, Texas’ Adonai Mitchell, Florida State’s Keon Coleman, Oregon’s Troy Franklin, Texas’ Xavier Worthy, Georgia’s Ladd McConkey, and Western Kentucky’s Malachi Corley, among others.

In a mock draft, NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks projected the Bengals to select Brian Thomas Jr. at No. 18 overall, highlighting Thomas’ athleticism, playmaking ability, size, and ball skills that could complement Ja’Marr Chase as a WR2.

However, other draft experts like Daniel Jeremiah, Lance Zierlein, and Eric Edholm have suggested that the Bengals may prioritize selecting an offensive tackle in the first round. In this scenario, there would still be ample opportunities for Cincinnati to address their wide receiver needs in later rounds with their multiple draft picks, including compensatory selections in the sixth and seventh rounds.


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