Brandon Boykin, CB
The saga of Brandon Boykin was a storyline that captivated Steeler Nation throughout the 2015 season. He was traded by the Philadelphia Eagles for a conditional 5th round 2016 draft pick towards the end of training camp. He originally was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Georgia.
He had the best season of his career in 2013 and then went on to barely play in the 2014 season. After arriving at Steelers training camp he made no attempt to hide his dislike for former Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly for that lack of playing time.
The Steelers picked him up after Golson was placed on season-ending injured reserve but he spent the majority of the season contributing only on special teams. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin started to rotate the defensive backs towards the end of the season and Boykin’s playing time increased and he contributed positively.
Boykin would end the season with 25 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception. He also played the second-most defensive snaps in the two playoff games behind only William Gay. Throughout his time waiting to get on the field for actual defensive snaps, however, he never spoke ill of the Steelers’ coaching staff or franchise.
The speculation on the fans’ side on why Boykin wasn’t getting on the field was the fact that he was traded for a conditional-draft pick, one that would go from a 5th-round pick to a 4th– round pick if he played more than 60 percent of the snaps for the regular season.
Whether or not that is true the Steelers are now faced with deciding on offering Boykin a long-term deal after only slightly including him in their defensive plans. While Boykin and Gay did play opposite of each other with Boykin playing in the slot and Gay on the outside I just don’t see them keeping both corners, who are roughly the same size.
If Boykin was signed just because of the injury to Golson that would leave me to think that they’d let Boykin walk with a healthy Golson coming back.
Next: William Gay