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Boykin joins the Steelers

Jun 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Brandon Boykin (22) runs drills during minicamp at The NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers made a surprising trade on Saturday evening, picking up fourth-year cornerback Brandon Boykin from the Eagles in exchange for a conditional 5th round draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles have been wheeling and dealing all offseason long but Steeler Nation certainly wasn’t prepared for a pre-preseason trade.

When Eagles coach Chip Kelly traded LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills earlier this year, he suggested in an interview with ESPN the Magazine that Kelly didn’t get along with the black players on the team. It seemed as though Boykin was echoing those sentiments in response to being traded, but clarified his remarks when he arrived in Latrobe to officially join the Steelers.

Boykin spoke to reports at Saint Vincent College and asserted that he didn’t feel like he related very well to his former coach and that he felt ignored for the most part, but insisted that he wasn’t implying that Kelly was racist at all.

"“When you’re a player, you want to be able to relate to your coach off the field. There were times he just didn’t talk to people. You would walk down the hallway; he wouldn’t say anything to you. I’m not saying he’s a racist in any way.” – Brandon Boykin"

The talk of Kelly not being the greatest guy to deal with in the NFL locker room probably has more to do with him being a former college coach than whether or not he does indeed have a problem with black players. College coaches transition into the NFL and quickly realize the atmosphere and culture are much different. It’s a whole different story dealing with professional men than college-aged players.

Nonetheless the drama surrounding Boykin’s departure from the Eagles should be over now and his work with the Steelers can begin.

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