Steelers News

Brandon Boykin On 2015 Season With Steelers: ‘It Was Really, Really, Really, Truly Tough’

The Carolina Panthers signed cornerback Brandon Boykin to a one-year, $840,000 contract on Monday and Tuesday night the Georgia product was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio, and he was asked to talk about his new team, which will be his third in three seasons.

“That’s one of the things that was talked about early in my free agency process is somewhere that will be a really good fit for me and I’m sure people have said it, but I wanted to be in Carolina,” said Boykin. “That was one of the top choices for me. So going through the process, I wasn’t really sure if they were interested until we started talking to them and the communication was for days and then we started working it out. So I’m excited it worked out how it did.”

Even though Boykin ultimately wound up signing for the minimum plus an $80,000 signing bonus, he stood firm on his previous comments that not only could he have signed elsewhere for more money, but also that several other teams were interested in his services.

“We were talking to a ton of teams and for me, going through what I did last year, I had to kind of weigh what was most important for me and my career,” said Boykin. “And I thought going and chasing the money is great, like going to find the team that gave me the most money, but for me, this year is crucial for me. I have to be on a team that gives me the best fit, because last year I made a good amount of money, made almost $2 million dollars and sat on the bench for 10 weeks. So my career can’t afford to chase the money and it not be the best opportunity for me.”

After the way Boykin’s 2015 season played out with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was obvious that he wasn’t going to re-sign with them this offseason. Boykin, who the Steelers acquired via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles during last year’s training camp, was asked to talk about his 2015 season and why he didn’t get to play as much as he would have liked.

“Honestly, it was really, really, really, truly tough,” said Boykin. “I just was a guy that was trying to get better knowing it was going to get better, knowing at some point it was going to end. It was a frustrating year from doing everything you possibly could do right in practice and people on your team knowing you are balling and you making acrobatic plays, but you just not playing.

“So, I just had to kind of sit back and look at what I wanted the rest of my career to look like. I could have went off and went crazy and started saying crazy stuff and it just wouldn’t have been good for me. It wouldn’t have ultimately helped me end up where I am now for sure. And all I needed was another opportunity and going off and doing crazy stuff wouldn’t help me get that.”

>As for where he expects to play in 2016 with the Panthers, Boykin said he believes he’ll be given a shot at being an every-down player in Carolina.

“Definitely nickel where I’ve been productive and definitely outside,” said Boykin. “They told me they view me as a guy in the mold that can play corner for them. I’ve got all of the qualities, the athletic ability and the things that they look for in outside guys and I’ve been productive at nickel. So I’ll have the ability to do both and compete, and if I’m the best at corner then I’ll be able to play both, and if I’m the best nickel I’ll play there. But really it’s just about me actually having that opportunity to be able to be in and play from day one, because I need that.”

As I wrote on Tuesday, I’m still really surprised that Boykin’s market value this offseason was as low as it was. I’m not surprised, however, that he is still frustrated with the way things went down last season with the Steelers. In closing, it’s probably good for him that he only signed a one-year deal with the Panthers because if he plays as much as he thinks he will in 2016 and as good as he thinks he can, he should then be able to cash-in next offseason during free agency.

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