The Pittsburgh Steelers are back in the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier than they had anticipated, having been ousted before they even reached the postseason, which unfortunately marks the sixth consecutive season in which they failed to win a postseason game—tying their longest drought of the Super Bowl era. Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we.
The Steelers did arguably perform at or above expectations this year by going 9-8 and nearly making the postseason at all, a reflection of just how much talent they lost during the offseason, from Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Haden to most of their wide receiver room, not to mention Stephon Tuitt’s decision to retire.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between head coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2022 season.
Player: WR Miles Boykin
Experience: 4 Years
Was Miles Boykin worth the $2,540,000 that the Steelers had to pay him in 2022 due to the Proven Performance Escalator, which requires that the fourth year of a player’s rookie contract be honored with a pay increase due to certain playing time and performative measures?
Perhaps not, but he proved to be a very good special teams contributor, particularly in his role as an ace gunner on the punt coverage unit. He posted a career-high 10 tackles, five of them coming in just the first three games of the season and seven in the first eight.
That’s not because of any decrease in his effectiveness in his role, but rather a combination of continued improvement and earned respect from opposing return units. Teams were less willing to run against him, opting for more fair catches. He also did a better job of getting close enough to induce opponents into taking fair catches.
Boykin did manage to log 132 snaps on offense, but it certainly didn’t feel like it. He did play more in the second half of the season following the Chase Claypool trade, but the Steelers mixed and matched more due to Claypool’s departure, and that meant more specialized roles. Boykin, as a big-bodied receiver, became the designated blocker.
It’s very likely the Steelers will want to re-sign Boykin, though whether or not they would be willing to pay him much more than the veteran minimum (which in his case would be $1.08 million as a four-year veteran, plus a modest signing bonus) is a question.
As a former third-round pick with great metrics, it is possible that there will be a light market for Boykin’s services. Teams may not hold against him the fact that he played most of his career in a run-first offense in Baltimore. Yet his mere three targets last season for Pittsburgh, even after the team traded a starter midseason, doesn’t look good, by the same token.