In less than four weeks from today, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brandon Boykin is scheduled to hit free agency and because of that, there’s a good chance he will already have signed a contract with a new team by March 10. Boykin, as you can probably imagine, is excited about his pending free agency situation and said as much Thursday on Twitter.
“I really don’t know what my absolute ceiling is as far as my ability..But I know it hasn’t even been close to being touched yet. JUST. WAIT,” Boykin tweeted on Thursday.
I really don't know what my absolute ceiling is as far as my ability..But I know it hasn't even been close to being touched yet. JUST. WAIT.
— Brandon Bam Boykin (@BrandonBoykin2) February 11, 2016
Currently, Pro Football Focus has Boykin ranked No. 10 overall on their list of cornerbacks who are set to be unrestricted free agents in March and here is what they wrote about him.
Just a few seasons ago in 2013, Boykin was among our highest-graded cornerbacks in coverage. After being traded to Pittsburgh for a late-round draft pick prior to the start of this season, he hardly saw the field for much of the season. The Steelers finally gave him more playing in Week 13, and he played well. He had one interception, two pass defenses, and allowed a passer rating of 65.0 over the final five weeks of the regular season.
You can indeed make an argument that Boykin will be the one of the best available slot cornerbacks in free agency and that’s a position he’s mostly played his entire NFL career. Boykin, however, would love the opportunity to be a starter outside moving forward and it will be interesting to see if a team that ultimately signs him gives a chance to do just that.
The Steelers acquired Boykin for a conditional fifth-round draft pick via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles early on in training camp and while it took most of the 2015 season for him to finally start seeing the field on defense, he did play well as a nickel slot defender once he did.
A short time ago, I estimated Boykin’s market value this offseason to be $6.5 million a year. However, it certainly could wind up being a bit higher than that due to free agent supply and demand.
If you are a Steelers fan, you should hope that Boykin gets a lucrative deal in the coming weeks in addition to playing well wherever he winds up landing as that could result in a fourth or fifth-round compensatory pick in 2017 for Pittsburgh.
Being as Boykin will only turn 26 in July, he still should have several years of good football left in him and he’s right to say that he’s yet to hit his ceiling as a pass defender. It’s too bad the Steelers didn’t use Boykin more during his one season in Pittsburgh and I’m sure he agrees with that statement.