The Cincinnati Bengals have come close to a championship the past two years, but close is not what the players are after; they want the Super Bowl win. The Bengals have a few players who are nearing the discussion of contract extensions, with some rookie deals ending and some players set to hit free agency. Wide receiver Tyler Boyd is one player facing the latter at the end of the 2023 season.
Boyd could be playing his last year with the Bengals, depending on how future negotiations go, but right now the 29-year-old is not focused on any contracts.
"This is my home for now," Boyd said (via NFL.com). "I just ain't going to worry about the unexpected. I'm here to finish this year out and whatever happens, happens, but I know we have a very, very high chance of making the Super Bowl and even winning. This is where I want to be. Whether I come up with a new deal or not, I've got to just go out there, and I'm going to be me."
Boyd saw the team go from not making the playoffs the first five seasons he was there to advancing to the Super Bowl in 2021 and making the AFC Championship in 2022.
Head coach Zac Taylor has high praise for the veteran, saying he is someone willing to help the team win in anyway he can. He is someone Taylor said fits the mold of the type of players the Bengals want on their team.
"He's been about what we want to be about every step of the way," Taylor said. "When this staff came in here in 2019, he's one of those guys that through thick and thin is always, 'Whatever you need from me coach' ... One thing we preach to all of our guys is … we want guys that are consistent every day. They walk in the building, we know what we're gonna expect. T.B. fits that to a T."
Boyd's fit on the team is not as obvious as some others, like quarterback Joe Burrow, who will sign a gigantic contract soon. The $8.9 million in cap space that Boyd is costing the Bengals may make the team second guess whether it is worth it to keep their long-standing leader. For now, Boyd is just focused on being in orange and black for at least the upcoming season.
"I'm very appreciative of them still wanting me to be around and knowing they don't want to trade me and things like that," Boyd said. "At the end of the day, I've just got to help guys get better."
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Last season, Boyd had 58 receptions for 762 yards and five touchdowns. He was forced to exit the 23-20 AFC Championship loss to the Kansas City Chiefs early due to a deep thigh bruise and feels like if he played the entire contest the team could have won.
"Still to this day, I feel like if I would have played the whole game, I was the key factor," Boyd said (via ESPN). "We would've won the game."
Boyd and the Bengals still have that championship drive and are one of the top contenders in either conference to make it all the way. Boyd wants to enjoy where he is now and knows that no matter where he ends up in the future, Cinnci will always be home.
"I ain't going to be playing ball forever," he said. "I might not be here forever, but I'm going to always love this franchise and I'm going to always be a Bengal."