For the last eight seasons and over 90 career games, Nick Boyle was one of the better blocking tight ends in the NFL and an invaluable member of the Baltimore Ravens’ rushing attack.
Now, at age 30 and coming off yet another season filled with injuries, Boyle is aiming to make a position change.
And he’s eyeing doing it with a division rival.
Boyle is attempting to make the switch to long snapper and is in rookie minicamp with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a tryout player. A fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, he participated at Maryland’s Pro Day in March as a long snapper, a natural transition given his injuries, and is aiming to stick in the league at his new position.
“I’m serious,” Boyle said Friday about the audition, according to Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Let’s go do it. It’s not a joke. That’s not what I want it to look like, because it’s not.”
Boyle has put in the work throughout the offseason, snapping to a Fisher Price basketball hoop in his driveway while trying to perfect the art of long snapping in hopes of sticking in the league — albeit with a longtime division rival.
As a tight end, Boyle recorded 121 receptions for 1,049 yards and four touchdowns in 90 games with 53 starts over seven seasons. Coming out of Delaware, Boyle was more of a blocking tight end than a receiving threat. That’s how he made his mark in Baltimore, though he battled a number of injuries.
In 2020, Boyle suffered a torn hamstring, meniscus, PCL and MCL injury that took away his explosiveness and overall route-running abilities, relegating him to that true in-line blocking tight end the Ravens relied on. Slowly but surely, Boyle’s career as a tight end came to a close, as he finished the 2022 season on Baltimore’s practice squad, catching just one pass for two yards in his final two years with the team.
Now, he’s looking to stick with the Steelers, at least through the offseason on the 90-man roster before potentially getting into a camp battle with incumbent Steelers long snapper and Pittsburgh native Christian Kuntz. That love of the game continues to drive Boyle, causing him to chase a new career within the NFL, even while being surrounded by young players looking to kickstart their own dream of playing in the NFL.
“I love being around this stuff,” the 30-year-old Boyle said, according to Batko. “I feel old, that’s for sure.”