On the most recent edition of the Audibles Podcast, host Mitch Goldich interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers free agent cornerback Brandon Boykin. During the interview, Boykin made his thoughts clear on what he believed happened during the 2015 season in Pittsburgh that resulted in him not playing regularly on the defensive side of the football until later on in the year.
“When I got traded, I didn’t play in Pittsburgh for nine or ten weeks on defense and there was some draft pick compensation things going on if I played more than 50 percent or 60 percent they would have to give Philadelphia their pick and that had a lot to do with it contrary to what anybody will say,” said Boykin. “That’s coming from my mouth and what I believe, but sitting on the sideline, of course I was angry – like why am I not playing and how is this going to affect me?
“But really, I just had to switch my mind to when I get on the field, I will at some point, I got to make an immediate impact and in the six or seven games, I ended up with 30 tackles and 5 or 6 pass breakups, a pick, forced fumble a sack. So I feel like I made my presence known and got some good statistics and things going on film for this year when I got in.”
As you can clearly see, Boykin firmly believes that the conditions of the trade with the Philadelphia Eagles played a big part in him not playing very much on the defensive side of the football until later on in the season. With that said, the Steelers could’ve played Boykin much earlier in the season without running the risk of him hitting the 60 percent number. In total, Boykin played 24.7% of all defensive snaps in 2015.
Boykin was asked during the interview whether or not he has had any conversations with the Steelers about potentially returning next season and judging by his response, he’s really doubting that will ultimately happen.
“I talked to Coach [Mike] Tomlin in the exit interview and he was telling me, ‘I would tell you what I would tell my son, which is basically you owe it to yourself to test free agency and just be in communication with us and that type of thing and if you don’t get what you’re looking for, or if somebody is paying you more than what we can afford, that’s what it is,’” said Boykin. “He said he would be selling me short if he told me not to test free agency and look for what they were offering. But there hasn’t been much communication in these last couple of days with us. I guess they’re expecting me to test free agency and I’m definitely going to do that.”
As of right now, there have been a few reports that the Atlanta Falcons might be interested in Boykin. The cornerback did say, however, that while he wouldn’t mind returning to Philadelphia to play with the Eagles, he certainly doesn’t want to play for the San Francisco 49ers now that Chip Kelly is their head coach. Kelly was of course the Eagles previous head coach.
You can listen to Boykin’s entire interview below.