Steelers Rumors: Pittsburgh is in a three-team race for free agent WR Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd has a long history with the city of Pittsburgh, but the Steelers can't get into a bidding war to bring him home.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

After the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers, this team created a massive hole at the wide receiver position. Right now, George Pickens and Calvin Austin are the only notable receivers under contract. This needs to change... and soon.

Long before the 2024 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh needs to shore up the wide receiver position with a veteran signing or two. One player who has been rumored to be the Steelers is Tyler Boyd.

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic posted that the 'biggest hurdle' for the Steelers to land Boyd on their roster is the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets.

If this proves to be the case, and there really are three teams fighting to sign him, Boyd has some intriguing options. While the Jets don't hold as much appeal (unless they offer the biggest contract), Boyd could choose to play for a Super Bowl favorite by joining Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

However, returning home might be just as intriguing.

Tyler Boyd is from the Pittsburgh area and played college football for the Pitt Panthers. Steelers fans have gotten to know him well over the years -- even seeing him play against Pittsburgh twice a year as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Steelers shouldn't get in a bidding war for Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd is still a respected name on the market, but I would caution the Pittsburgh Steelers about getting into a bidding war for his services.

While Boyd has been one of the better slot receivers in years past, those days could be behind him. In 2023, Boyd's efficiency took a massive dip, and he was one of the lowest-graded receivers in the league last season.

Obviously, many of his underwhelming efficiency numbers can be traced back to Joe Burrow's absence as he suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. However, this didn't seem to affect players like Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins who both had good seasons in Cincinnati with backup QB Jake Browning.

The tape is what's most important. When you watch Boyd on the field last year, he simply didn't have much speed or explosion. Though his hands are still excellent, Boyd saw career-low numbers in yards after the catch per reception.

In addition to all of this, Boyd doesn't play special teams. He has recorded just 20 special teams snaps in 8 NFL seasons. Because of this, he needs to be a quality WR3 at the very least, as he offers no special teams value.

Boyd is a true slot receiver and there's no question he would be an upgrade over Allen Robinson II, but getting into a bidding war for a soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver who is on the decline seems unwise.

Steelers fans would love to see the former Pitt Panther reunited in Pittsburgh, but they need to be careful not to overpay for an aging receiver who's not the same player he once was.